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FROM-THE-  LIBRARY  OF 
TRINITYCOLLEGE  TORONTO 


Gift  of  the  Friends  of  the 
Library,  Trinity  College 


DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

PSYCHOANALYSIS  FOR  BEGINNERS 


BY 

PROF.  DR.  SIGMUND  FREUD 


WITH  AN  INTRODUCTION  BY 

ANDRE  TRIDON 
Author  of  "Easy  Lesson  in  Psychoanalysis' 
"Psychoanalysis,  its  History,  Theory  and 
Practice,"  "Psychoanalysis  and 
Behavior"  and  "Psycho 
analysis,  Sleep  and 
Dreams" 


NEW  YORK 

THE  JAMES  A.  McCANN  COMPANY 
1921 


Copyright   Introduction,    1921,   by 
THE  JAMES  A.  McCANN   COMPANY 


PRINTED    IN    THE    U.    S.    A 


0  0  'I  O  0 


INTRODUCTION 

THE  medical  profession  is  justly  conservative. 
Human  life  should  not  be  considered  as  the  proper 
material  for  wild  experiments. 

Conservatism,  however,  is  too  often  a  welcome 
excuse  for  lazy  minds,  loath  to  adapt  themselves  to 
fast  changing  conditions. 

Remember  the  scornful  reception  which  first  was 
accorded  to  Freud's  discoveries  in  the  domain  of  the 
unconscious. 

When  after  years  of  patient  observations,  he 
finally  decided  to  appear  before  medical  bodies  to 
tell  them  modestly  of  some  facts  which  always  re 
curred  in  his  dream  and  his  patients'  dreams,  he 
was  first  laughed  at  and  then  avoided  as  a  crank. 

The  words  "dream  interpretation"  were  and  still 
are  indeed  fraught  with  unpleasant,  unscientific 
associations.  They  remind  one  of  all  sorts  of  child 
ish,  superstitious  notions,  which  make  up  the  thread 
and  woof  of  dream  books,  read  by  none  but  the 
ignorant  and  the  primtive. 

The  wealth  of  detail,  the  infinite  care  never  to  let 

anything  pass  unexplaned,  with  which  he  presented 

iil 


iv  INTRODUCTION 

to  the  public  the  result  of  his  investigations,  are 
impressing  more  and  more  serious-minded  scientists, 
but  the  examination  of  his  evidential  data  demands 
arduous  work  and  presupposes  an  absolutely  open 
mind. 

This  is  why  we  still  encounter  men,  totally  un 
familiar  with  Freud's  writings,  men  who  were  not 
even  interested  enough  in  the  subject  to  attempt  an 
interpretation  of  their  dreams  or  their  patients' 
dreams,  deriding  Freud's  theories  and  combatting 
them  with  the  help  of  statements  which  he  never 
made. 

Some  of  them,  like  Professor  Boris  Sidis,  reach  at 
times  conclusions  which  are  strangely  similar  to 
Freud's,  but  in  their  ignorance  of  psychoanalytic 
literature,  they  fail  to  credit  Freud  for  observations 
antedating  theirs. 

Besides  those  who  sneer  at  dream  study,  because 
they  have  never  looked  into  the  subject,  there  are 
those  who  do  not  dare  to  face  the  facts  revealed  by 
dream  study.  Dreams  tell  us  many  an  unpleasant 
biological  truth  about  ourselves  and  only  very  free 
minds  can  thrive  on  such  a  diet.  Self-deception  is 
a  plant  which  withers  fast  in  the  pellucid  atmosphere 
of  dream  investigation. 

The  weakling  and  the  neurotic  attached  to  his 
neurosis  are  not  anxious  to  turn  such  a  powerful 


INTRODUCTION  v 

searchlight  upon  the  dark  corners  of  their  psy 
chology. 

Freud's  theories  are  anything  but  theoretical. 

He  was  moved  by  the  fact  that  there  always 
seemed  to  be  a  close  connection  between  his  patients' 
dreams  and  their  mental  abnormalities,  to  collect 
thousands  of  dreams  and  to  compare  them  with  the 
case  histories  in  his  possession. 

He  did  not  start  out  with  a  preconceived  bias, 
hoping  to  find  evidence  which  might  support  his 
views.  He  looked  at  facts  a  thousand  times  "until 
they  began  to  tell  him  something." 

His  attitude  toward  dream  study  was,  in  other 
words,  that  of  a  statistician  who  does  not  know,. and 
has  no  means  of  foreseeing,  what  conclusions  will  be 
forced  on  him  by  the  information  he  is  gathering, 
but  who  is  fully  prepared  to  accept  those  unavoid 
able  conclusions. 

This  was  indeed  a  novel  way  in  psychology. 
Psychologists  had  always  been  wont  to  build,  in 
what  Bleuler  calls  "autistic  ways,"  that  is  through 
methods  in  no  wise  supported  by  evidence,  some  at 
tractive  hypothesis,  which  sprung  from  their  brain, 
like  Minerva  from  Jove's  brain,  fully  armed. 

After  which,  they  would  stretch  upon  that  un 
yielding  frame  the  hide  of  a  reality  which  they  had 
previously  killed. 


vi  INTRODUCTION 

It  is  only  to  minds  suffering  from  the  same  dis 
tortions,  to  minds  also  autistically  inclined,  that 
those  empty,  artificial  structures  appear  acceptable 
molds  for  philosophic  thinking. 

The  pragmatic  view  that  "truth  is  what  works" 
had  not  been  as  yet  expressed  when  Freud  published 
his  revolutionary  views  on  the  psychology  of  dreams. 

Five  facts  of  first  magnitude  were  made  obvious 
to  the  world  by  his  interpretation  of  dreams. 

First  of  all,  Freud  pointed  out  a  constant  con 
nection  between  some  part  of  every  dream  and  some 
detail  of  the  dreamer's  life  during  the  previous  wak 
ing  state.  This  positively  establishes  a  relation  be 
tween  sleeping  states  and  waking  states  and  dis 
poses  of  the  widely  prevalent  view  that  dreams  are 
purely  nonsensical  phenomena  coming  from  no 
where  and  leading  nowhere. 

Secondly,  Freud,  after  studying  the  dreamer's 
life  and  modes  of  thought,  after  noting  down  all 
his  mannerisms  and  the  apparently  insignificant 
details  of  his  conduct  which  reveal  his  secret 
thoughts,  came  to  the  conclusion  that  there  .was. .in. 
.every  dream  the  attempted  or  successful  gratifica 
tion  of  some  wish,  conscious  or  unconscious. 

Thirdly,  he  proved  that  many  of  our  dream 
visions  are  .symbolical,  which  causes  us  to  consider 
them  as  absurd  and  unintelligible;  the  universality 


INTRODUCTION  vii 

of  those  symbols,  however,  makes  them  very;  trans 
parent  to  the  trained  observer. 

Fourthly,  Freud  showed  that  sexual  desires  play 
an  enormous  part  in  our  unconscious,  a  part  which 
puritanical  hypocrisy  has  always  tried  to  minimize, 
if  not  to  ignore  entirely. 

Finally,  Freud  established  a  direct  connection  be 
tween  dreams  and  insanity,  between  the  symbolic 
visions  of  our  sleep  and  the  symbolic  actions  of  the 
mentally  deranged. 

There  were,  of  course,  many  other  observations 
which  Freud  made  while  dissecting  the  dreams  of  his 
patients,  but  not  all  of  them  present  as  much  inter 
est  as  the  foregoing  nor  were  they  as  revolutionary 
or  likely  to  wield  as  much  influence  on  modern 
psychiatry. 

Other  explorers  have  struck  the  path  blazed  by 
Freud  and  leading  into  man's  unconscious.  Jung 
of  Zurich,  Adler  of  Vienna  and  Kempf  of  Wash 
ington,  D.  C.,  have  made  to  the  study  of  the  un 
conscious,  contributions  which  have  brought  that 
study  into  fields  which  Freud  himself  never  dreamt 
of  invading. 

One  fact  which  cannot  be  too  emphatically  stated, 
however,  is  that  but'  for  Freud's  wishfulfillment 
theory  of  dreams,  neither  Jung's  "energic  theory," 
nor  Adler's  theory  of  "organ  inferiority  and  com- 


viii  INTRODUCTION 

pensation,"  nor  Kempf's   "dynamic  mechanism" 
might  have  been  formulated. 

Freud  is  the  father  of  modern  abnormal  psychol 
ogy  and  he  established  the  psychoanalytical  point  of  ^ 
view.  No  one  who  is  not  well  grounded  in  Freud 
ian  lore  can  hope  to  achieve  any  work  of  value  in 
the  field  of  psychoanalysis. 

On  the  other  hand,  let  no  one  repeat  the  absurd 
assertion  that  Freudism  is  a  sort  of  religion  bounded 
with  dogmas  and  requiring  an  act  of  faith.  Freud- 
ism  as  such  was  merely  a  stage  in  the  development 
of  psychoanalysis,  a  stage  out  of  which  all  but  a 
few  bigoted  camp  followers,  totally  lacking  in  orig 
inality,  have  evolved.  Thousands  of  stones  have 
been  added  to  the  structure  erected  by  the  Viennese 
physician  and  many  more  will  be  added  in  the  course 
of  time. 

But  the  new  additions  to  that  structure  would  col 
lapse  like  a  house  of  cards  but  for  the  original  foun 
dations  which  are  as  indestructible  as  Harvey's 
statement  as  to  the  circulation  of  the  blood. 

Regardless  of  whatever  additions  or  changes  have 
been  made  to  the  original  structure,  the  analytic 
point  of  view  remains  unchanged. 

That  point  of  view  is  not  only  .revolutionising  all 
the  methods  of  diagnosis  and  treatment  of  mental 
derangements,  but  compelling  the  intelligent,  up-to- 


INTRODUCTION  ix 

date  physician  to  revise  entirely  his  attitude  to  al 
most  every  kind  of  disease. 

The  insane  are  no  longer  absurd  and  pitiable  peo 
ple,  to  be  herded  in  asylums  till  nature  either  cures 
them  or  relieves  them,  through  death,  of  their  mis 
ery.  The  insane  who  have  not  been  made  so  by 
actual  injury  to  their  brain  or  nervous  system,  are 
the  victims  of  unconscious  forces  which  cause  them 
to  do  abnormally  things  which  they  might  be  helped 
to  do  normally. 

Insight  into  one's  psychology  is  replacing  victo 
riously  sedatives  and  rest  cures. 

Physicians 'dealing  with  "purely"  physical  cases 
have  begun  to  take  into  serious  consideration  the 
"mental"  factors  which  have  predisposed  a  patient 
to  certain  ailments. 

Freud's  views  have  also  made  a  revision  of  all 
ethical  and  social  values  unavoidable  and  have 
thrown  an  unexpected  flood  of  light  upon  literary 
and  artistic  accomplishment. 

But  the  Freudian  point  of  view,  or  more  broadly 
speaking,  the  psychoanalytic  point  of  view,  shall 
ever  remain  a  puzzle  to  those  who,  from  laziness  or 
indifference,  refuse  to  survey  with  the  great  Vien 
nese  the  field  over  which  he  carefully  groped  his 
way.  We  shall  never  be  convinced  until  we  repeat 
under  his  guidance  all  his  laboratory  experiments. 


x  INTRODUCTION 

We  must  follow  him  through  the  thickets  of  the 
unconscious,  through  the  land  which  had  never  been 
charted  because  academic  philosophers,  following 
the  line  of  least  effort,  had  decided  a  priori  that  it 
could  not  be  charted. 

Ancient  geographers,  when  exhausting  their  store 
of  information  about  distant  lands,  yielded  to  an 
unscientific  craving  for  romance  and,  without  any 
evidence  to  support  their  day  dreams,  filled  the 
blank  spaces  left  on  their  maps  by  unexplored  tracts 
with  amusing  inserts  such  as  "Here  there  are  lions." 

Thanks  to  Freud's  interpretation  of  dreams  the 
"royal  road"  into  the  unconscious  is  now  open  to  all 
explorers.  They  shall  not  find  lions,  they  shall  find 
man  himself,  and  the  record  of  all  his  life  and  of  his 
struggle  with  reality. 

And  it  is  only  after  seeing  man  as  his  unconscious, 
revealed  Jb.y  his  dreams,  presents  him  to  us  that  we 
shall  understand  him  fully.  For  as  Freud  said  to 
Putnam:  "We  are  what  we  are  because  we  have 
been  what  we  have  been." 

Not  a  few  serious-minded  students,  however,  have 
been  discouraged  from  attempting  a  study  of 
Freud's  dream  psychology. 

The  book  in  which  he  originally  offered  to  the 
world  his  interpretation  of  dreams  was  as  circum 
stantial  as  a  legal  record  to  be  pondered  over  by 


INTRODUCTION  xi 

scientists  at  their  leisure,  not  to  be  assimilated  in  a 
few  hours  by  the  average  alert  reader.  In  those 
days,  Freud  could  not  leave  out  any  detail  likely 
to  make  his  extremely  novel  thesis  evidentially  ac 
ceptable  to  those  willing  to  sift  data. 

Freud  himself,  however,  realized  the  magnitude 
of  the  task  which  the  reading  of  his  magnum 
opus  imposed  upon  those  who  have  not  been 
prepared  for  it  by  long  psychological  and  scientific 
training  and  he  abstracted  from  that  gigantic  work 
the  parts  which  constitute  the  essential  of  his  dis 
coveries. 

The  publishers  of  the  present  book  deserve  credit 
for  presenting  to  the  reading  pubic  the  gist  of 
Freud's  psychology  in  the  master's  own  words,  and 
in  a  form  which  shall  neither  discourage  beginners, 
nor  appear  too  elementary  to  those  who  are  more 
advanced  in  psychoanalytic  study. 

Dream  psychology  is  the  key  to  Freud's  works 
#nd  to  all  modern  psychology.  With  a  simple, 
compact  manual  such  as  Dream  Psychology  there 
shall  be  no  longer  any  excuse  for  ignorance  of  the 
most  revolutionary  psychological  system  of  modern 
times. 

ANDRE  TRIDON. 

121  Madison  Avenue,  New  York. 
November,  1920. 


CONTENTS 

CHAPTER  PAGE 

I  DREAMS  HAVE  A  MEANING 1 

II  THE  DREAM  MECHANISM 24 

III  WHY  THE  DREAM  DISGUISES  THE  DESIRES  ...  57 

IV  DREAM  ANALYSIS 78 

V  SEX  IN  DREAMS 104 

VI     THE  WISH  IN  DREAMS 135 

VII     THE  FUNCTION  OF  THE  DREAM 164 

VIII     THE    PRIMARY    AND    SECONDARY    PROCESS  —  RE^ 

GRESSION 186 

IX     THE  UNCONSCIOUS  AND  CONSCIOUSNESS  —  REALITY  220 


DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 


DREAMS   HAVE  A   MEANING 

IN  what  we  may  term  "prescientific  days"  people 
were  in  no  uncertainty  about  the  interpretation  of 
dreams.  When  they  were  recalled  after  awaken 
ing  they  were  regarded  as  either  the  friendly  or 
hostile  manifestation  of  some  higher  powers,  de 
moniacal  and  Divine.  With  the  rise  of  scientific 
thought  the  whole  of  this  expressive  mythology  was 
transferred  to  psychology;  to-day  there  is  but  a 
small  minority  among  educated  persons  who  doubt 
that  the  dream  is  the  dreamer's  own  psychical  act. 
But  since  the  downfall  of  the  mythological  hypo 
thesis  an  interpretation  of  the  dream  has  been  want 
ing.  The  conditions  of  its  origin;  its  relationship 
to  our  psychical  life  when  we  are  awake;  its  inde 
pendence  of  disturbances  which,  during  the  state 
of  sleep,  seem  to  compel  notice;  its  many  pecul 
iarities  repugnant  to  our  waking  thought;  the  in- 
congruence  between  its  images  and  the  feelings  they 
engender ;  then  the  dream's  evanescence,  the  way  in 


2  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

which,  on  awakening,  our  thoughts  thrust  it  aside 
as  something  bizarre,  and  our  reminiscences  muti 
lating  or  rejecting  it — all  these  and  many  other 
problems  have  for  many  hundred  years  demanded 
answers  which  up  till  now  could  never  have  been 
satisfactory.  Before  all  there  is  the  question  as  to 
the  meaning  of  the  dream,  a  question  which  is  in 
itself  double-sided.  There  is,  firstly,  the  psychical 
significance  of  the  dream,  its  position  with  regard 
to  the  psychical  processes,  as  to  a  possible  biological 
function;  secondly,  has  the  dream  a  meaning — can 
sense  be  made  of  each  single  dream  as  of  other 
mental  syntheses? 

Three  tendencies  can  be  observed  in  the  estima 
tion  of  dreams.  Many  philosophers  have  given 
currency  to  one  of  these  tendencies,  one  which  at 
the  same  time  preserves  something  of  the  dream's 
former  over-valuation.  The  foundation  of  dream 
life  is  for  them  a  peculiar  state  of  psychical  activity, 
which  they  even  celebrate  ais  elevation  to  some 
Jiigher  state.  Schubert,  for  instance,  claims: 
"The  dream  is  the  liberation  of  the  spirit  from  the 
pressure  of  external  nature,  a  detachment  of  the 
soul  from  the  fetters  of  matter."  Not  all  go  so 
far  as  this,  but  many  maintain  that  dreams  have 
their  origin  in  real  spiritual  excitations,  and  are  the 
outward  manifestations  of  spiritual  powers  whose 


DREAMS  HAVE  A  MEANING         3 

free  movements  have  been  hampered  during  the  day 
("Dream  Phantasies,"  Schemer,  Volkelt).  A 
large  number  of  observers  acknowledge  that  dream 
life  is  capable  of  extraordinary  achievements — at 
any  rate,  in  certain  fields  ("Memory"). 

In  striking  contradiction  with  this  the  majority 
of  medical  writers  hardly  admit  that  the  dream  is  a 
psychical  phenomenon  at  all.  According  to  them 
dreams  are  provoked  and  initiated  exclusively  by 
stimuli  proceeding  from  the._sensejs_Qr..the-..bQdy> 
which  either  reach  the  sleeper  from  without  or  are, 
accidental  disturbances  of  his  internal  organs.  The 
dream  has  no  greater  claim  to  meaning  and  im 
portance  than  the  sound  called  forth  by  the  ten 
fingers  of  a  person  quite  unacquainted  with  music 
running  his  fingers  over  the  keys  of  an  instrument. 
The  dream  is  to  be  regarded,  says  Binz,  "as  a  phy 
sical  process  always  useless,  frequently  morbid." 
All  the  peculiarities  of  dream  life  are  jexplicable  as 
the  incoherent  effort,  due  to  some  physiological 
stimulus,  of  certain  organs,  or  of  the  cortical  ele 
ments  of  a  brain  otherwise  asleep. 

But  slightly  affected  by  scientific  opinion  and 
untroubled  as  to  the  origin  of  dreams,  the  popular 
view  holds  firmly  to  the  belief  that  dreams  really 
have  got  a  meaning,  in  some  way  they  do  foretell 
the  future,  whilst  the  meaning  can  be  unravelled 


4  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

in  some  way  or  other  from  its  oft  bizarre  and  en 
igmatical  content.  The  reading  of  dreams  consists 
in  replacing  the  events  of  the  dream,  so  far  as  re 
membered,  by  other  events.  This  is  done  either 
scene  by  scene,  according  to  some  rigid  key,  or  the 
dream  as  a  whole  is  replaced  by  something  else  of 
which  it  was  a  symbol,  Serious-minded  persons 
laugh  at  these  efforts — "Dreams  are  but  sea- 
foam!" 

One  day  I  discovered  to  my  amazement  that  the 
popular  view  grounded  in  superstition,  and  not  the 
medical  one,  comes  nearer  to  the, truth  about  dreams. 
I  arrived  at  new  conclusions  about  dreams  by  the 
use  of  a  new  method  of  psychological  investigation, 
one  which  had  rendered  me  good  service  in  the  in 
vestigation  of  phobias,  obsessions,  illusions,  and  the 
like,  and  which,  under  the  name  "psycho-analysis," 
had  found  acceptance  by  a  whole  school  of  investi 
gators.  The  manifold  analogies  of  dream  lifejwitlL 
the  most  diverse  conditions  of  psychical  disease  in 
the  waking  state  have  been  rjghtly  insisted  upon  by 
a  number  of  medical  observers.  It  seemed,  there 
fore,  a  priori,  hopeful  to  apply  to  the  interpretation 
of  dreams  methods  of  investigation  which  had  been 
tested  in  psychopathological  processes.  Obsessions 
and  those  peculiar  sensations  of  haunting  dread  re 
main  as  strange  to  normal  consciousness  as  do 


DREAMS  HAVE  A  MEANING         5 

dreams  to  our  waking  consciousness ;  their  origin  is 
as  unknown  to  consciousness  as  is  that  of  dreams. 
It  was  practical  ends  that  impelled  us,  in  these  dis 
eases,  to  fathom  their  origin  and  formation.  Ex 
perience  had  shown  us  that  a  cure  and  a  consequent 
mastery  of  the  obsessing  ideas  did  result  when  once 
those  thoughts,  the  connecting  links  between  the 
morbid  ideas  and  the  rest  of  the  psychical  content, 
were  revealed  which  were  heretofore  veiled  from 
consciousness.  The  procedure  I  employed  for  the 
interpretation  of  dreams  thus  arose  from  psycho 
therapy. 

This  procedure  is  readily  described,  although  its 
practice  demands  instruction  and  experience. 
Suppose  the  patient  is  suffering  from  intense  mor 
bid  dread.  He  is  requested  to  direct  his  attention 
to  the  idea  in  question,  without,  however,  as  he  has 
so  frequently  done,  meditating  upon  it.  Every  im 
pression  about  it,  without  any  exception,  which  oc 
curs  to  him  should  be  imparted  to  the  doctor.  The 
statement  which  will  be  perhaps  then  made,  that 
he  cannot  concentrate  his  attention  upon  anything 
at  all,  is  to  be  countered  by  assuring  him  most  posi 
tively  that  such  a  blank  state  of  mind  is  utterly  im 
possible.  As  a  matter  of  fact,  a  great  number  of 
impressions  will  soon  occur,  with  which  others  will 
associate  themselves.  These  will  be  invariably  ac- 


6  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

companied  by  the  expression  of  the  observer's  opin 
ion  that  they  have  no  meaning  or  are  unimportant. 
It  will  be  at  once  noticed  that  it  is  this  self-criticism^ 
which  prevented  the  patient  from  imparting  the 
ideas,  which  had  indeed  already  excluded  them  from 
consciousness.  If  the  patient  can  be  induced  to 
abandon  this  self-criticism  and  to  pursue  the  trains 
of  thought  which  are  yielded  by  concentrating  the 
attention,  most  significant  matter  will  be  obtained, 
matter  which  will  be  presently  seen  to  be  clearly 
linked  to  the  morbid  idea  in  question.  Its  connec 
tion  with  other  ideas  will  be  manifest,  and  later  on 
will  permit  the  replacement  of  the  morbid  idea  by 
a  fresh  one,  which  is  perfectly  adapted  to  psychical 
continuity. 

This  is  not  the  place  to  examine  thoroughly  the 
hypothesis  upon  which  this  experiment  rests,  or  the 
deductions  which  follow  from  its  invariable  success. 
It  must  suffice  to  state  that  we  obtain  matter  enough 
for  the  resolution  of  every  morbid  idea  if  _W£_~es.7 
pecially  direct  our  attention  to  the  unbidden  as 
sociations  which  disturb  our  thoughts — those  which 
are  otherwise  put  aside  by  the  critic  as  worthless 
refuse.  If  the  procedure  is  exercised  on  oneself, 
the  best  plan  of  helping  the  experiment  is  to  write 
down  at  once  all  one's  first  indistinct  fancies. 

I  will  now  point  out  where  this  method  leads  when 


DREAMS  HAVE  A  MEANING         7 

I  apply  it  to  the  examination  of  dreams.  Any 
dream  could  be  made  use  of  in  this  way.  From 
certain  motives  I,  however,  choose  a  dream  of  my 
own,  which  appears  confused  and  meaningless  to 
my  memory,  and  one  which  has  the  advantage  of 
brevity.  Probably  my  dream  of  last  night  satisfies 
the  requirements.  Its  content,  fixed  immediately 
after  awakening,  runs  as  follows: 

"Company;  at  table  or  table  d'hote.  .  .  .  Spin 
ach  is  served.  Mrs.  E.  L.,,  sitting  next  to  me,  gives 
me  her  undivided  attention,,  and  places  her  hand 
familiarly  upon  my  knee.  In  defence  I  remove  her 
hand.  Then  she  says:  '  But  you  have  always  had 
such  beautiful  eyes'  ...  I  then  distinctly  see 
something  like  two  eyes  as  a  sketch  or  as  the  con 
tour  of  a  spectacle  lens.  ..." 

This  is  the  whole  dream,  or,  at  all  events,  all  that 
I  can  remember.  It  appears  to  me  not  only  ob 
scure  and  meaningless,  but  more  especially  odd. 
Mrs.  E.  L.  is  a  person  with  whom  I  am  scarcely  on 
visiting  terms,  nor  to  my  knowledge  have  I  ever 
desired  any  more  cordial  relationship.  I  have  not 
seen  her  for  a  long  time,  and  do  not  think  there  was 
any  mention  of  her  recently.  No  emotion  what 
ever  accompanied  the  dream  process. 

Reflecting  upon  this  dream  does  not  make  it  a 
bit  clearer  to  my  mind.  I  will  now,  however,  pre- 


8          DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY; 

sent  the  ideas,  without  premeditation  and  without 
criticism,  which  introspection  yielded.  I  soon  no 
tice  that  it  is  an  advantage  to  break  up  the  dream 
into  its  elements,  and  to  search  out  the  ideas  which 
link  themselves  to  each  fragment, 

Company;  at  table  or  table  d'hote.  The  recol 
lection  of  the  slight  event  with  which  the  evening 
of  yesterday  ended  is  at  once  called  up.  I  left  a 
small  party  in  the  company  of  a  friend,  who  offered 
to  drive  me  home  in  his  cab.  "I  prefer  a  taxi,"  he 
said;  "that  gives  one  such  a  pleasant  occupation; 
there  is  always  something  to  look  at."  When  we 
were  in  the  cab,  and  the  cab-driver  turned  the  disc 
so  that  the  first  sixty  hellers  were  visible,  I  con 
tinued  the  jest.  "We  have  hardly  got  in  and  we 
already  owe  sixty  hellers.  The  taxi  always  re 
minds  me  of  the  table  d'hote.  It  makes  me  avari 
cious  and  selfish  by  continuously  reminding  me  of 
my  debt.  It  seems  to  me  to  mount  up  too  quickly, 
and  I  am  ah/ays  afraid  that  I  shall  be  at  a  disadvan 
tage,  just  as  I  cannot  resist  at  table  d'hote  the  com 
ical  fear  that  I  am  getting  too  little,  that  I  must 
look  after  myself."  In  far-fetched  connection  with 
this  I  quote : 

"To  earth,  this  weary  earth,  ye  bring  us, 
To  guilt  ye  let  us  heedless  go." 


DREAMS  HAVE  A  MEANING         9 

Another  idea  about  the  table  d'hote.  A  few 
weeks  ago  I  was  very  cross  with  my  dear  wife  at 
the  dinner-table  at  a  Tyrolese  health  resort,  be 
cause  she  was  not  sufficiently  reserved  with  some 
neighbors  with  whom  I  wished  to  have  absolutely 
nothing  to  do.  I  begged  her  to  occupy  herself 
rather  with  me  than  with  the  strangers.  That  is 
just  as  if  I  had  been  at  a  disadvantage  at  the  table 
d'hote.  The  contrast  between  the  behavior  of  my 
wife  at  the  table  and  that  of  Mrs.  E.  L.  in  the 
dream  now  strikes  me :  f< Addresses  herself  entirely 
to  me!9 

Further,  I  now  notice  that  the  dream  is  the  re 
production  of  a  little  scene  which  transpired  be 
tween  my  wife  and  myself  when  I  was  scretly  court 
ing  her.  The  caressing  under  cover  of  the  table 
cloth  was  an  answer  to  a  wooer's  passionate  letter. 
In  the  dream,  however,  my  wife  is  replaced  by  the 
unfamiliar  E.  L. 

Mrs.  E.  L.  is  the  daughter  of  a  man  to  whom  I 
owed  money!  I  cannfot  help  noticing1  that  here 
there  is  revealed  an  unsuspected  connection  between 
the  dream  content  and  my  thoughts.  If  the  chain 
of  associations  be  followed  up  which  proceeds  from 
one  element  of  the  dream  one  is  soon  led  back  to 
another  of  its  elements.  The  thoughts  evoked  by 


10  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

the  dream  stir  up  associations  which  were  not  no 
ticeable  in  the  dream  itself. 

Is  it  not  customary,  when  some  one  expects 
others  to  look  after  his  interests  without  any  ad 
vantage  to  themselves,  to  ask  the  innocent  question 
satirically:  "Do  you  think  this  will  be  done  for 
the  sake  of  your  beautiful  eyes?"  Hence  Mrs.  E. 
L.'s  speech  in  the  dream.  "You  have  always  had 
such  beautiful  eyes,"  means  nothing  but  "people 
always  do  everything  to  you  for  love  of  you:  you 
have  had  everything  for  nothing''  The  contrary 
is,  of  course,  the  truth;  I  have  always  paid  dearly 
for  whatever  kindness  others  have  shown  me.  Still, 
the  fact  that  I  had  a  ride  for  nothing  yesterday 
when  my  friend  drove  me  home  in  his  cab  must  have 
made  an  impression  upon  me. 

In  any  case,  the  friend  whose  guests  we  were 
yesterday  has  often  made  me  his  debtor.  Recently 
I  allowed  an  opportunity  of  requiting  him  to  go 
by.  He  has  had  only  one  present  from  me,  an  an 
tique  shawl,  upon  which  eyes  are  painted  all  round, 
a  so-called  Occhiale,  as  a  charm  against  the  Maloc- 
chio.  Moreover,  he  is  an  eye  specialist.  That 
same  evening  I  had  asked  him  after  a  patient  whom 
I  had  sent  to  him  for  glasses. 

As  I  remarked,  nearly  all  parts  of  the  dream  have 
been  brought  into  this  new  connection.  I  still 


DREAMS  HAVE  A  MEANING       11 

might  ask  why  in  the  dream  it  was  spinach  that  was 
served  up.  Because  spinach  called  up  a  little  scene 
which  recently  occurred  at  our  table.  A  child, 
whose  beautiful  eyes  are  really  deserving  of  praise, 
refused  to  eat  spinach.  As  a  child  I  was  just  the 
same;  for  a  long  time  I  loathed  spinach,  until  in 
later  life  my  tastes  altered,  and  it  became  one  of  my 
favorite  dishes.  The  mention  of  this  dish  brings 
my  own  childhood  and  that  of  my  child's  near  to 
gether.  "You  should  be  glad  that  you  have  some 
spinach,"  his  mother  had  said  to  the  little  gourmet. 
"Some  children  would  be  very  glad  to  get  spinach." 
Thus  I  am  reminded  of  the  parents'  duties  towards 
their  children.  Goethe's  words — 

"To  earth,  this  weary  earth,  ye  bring  us, 
To  guilt  ye  let  us  heedless  go" — 

take  on  another  meaning  in  this  connection. 

Here  I  will  stop  in  order  that  I  may  recapitulate 
the  results  of  the  analysis  of  the  dream.  By  fol 
lowing  the  associations  which  were  linked  to  the 
single  elements  of  the  dream  torn  from  their  con 
text,  I  have  been  led  to  a  series  of  thoughts  and 
reminiscences  where  I  am  bound  to  recognize  inter 
esting  expressions  of  my  psychical  life.  The  mat 
ter  yielded  by  an  analysis  of  the  dream  stands  in 
intimate  relationship  with  the  dream  content,  but 


12  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

this  relationship  is  so  special  that  I  should  never 
have  been  able  to  have  inferred  the  new  discoveries 
directly  from  the  dream  itself.  The  dream  was 
passionless,  disconnected,  and  unintelligible.  Dur 
ing  the  time  that  I  am  unfolding  the  thoughts  at 
the  back  of  the  dream  I  feel  intense  and  well- 
grounded  emotions.  The  thoughts  themselves  fit 
beautifully  together  into  chains  logically  bound  to 
gether  with  certain  central  ideas  which  ever  repeat 
themselves.  Such  ideas  not  represented  in  the 
dream  itself  are  in  this  instance  the  antitheses  self 
ish,  unselfish,  to  be  indebted,  to  work  for  nothing. 
I  could  draw  closer  the  threads  of  the  web  which 
analysis  has  disclosed,  and  would  then  be  able  to 
show  how  they  all  run  together  into  a  single  knot; 
I  am  debarred  from  making  this  work  public  by 
considerations  of  a  private,  not  of  a  scientific,  na 
ture.  After  having  cleared  up  many  things  which 
I  do  not  willingly  acknowledge  as  mine,  I  should 
have  much  to  reveal  which  had  better  remain  my 
secret.  Why,  then,  do  not  I  choose  another  dream 
whose  analysis  would  be  more  suitable  for  publica 
tion,  so  that  I  could  awaken  a  fairer  conviction  of 
the  sense  and  cohesion  of  the  results  disclosed  by 
analysis?  The  answer  is,  because  every  dream 
which  I  investigate  leads  to  the  same  difficulties 
and  places  me  under  the  same  need  of  discretion; 


DREAMS  Ek    ^E  A  MEANING       13 

nor  should  I  forgo  this  \  'fficulty  any  the  more  were 
I  to  analyze  the  dream1  v»f  some  one  else.  That 
could  only  be  done  when  opportunity  allowed  all 
concealment  to  be  dropped  without  injury  to  those 
who  trusted  me. 

The  conclusion  which  is  now  forced  upon  me  is 
that  the  dream  is  a  sort  of  substitution  for ihose.- 
emotional  and  intellectual  trains  of  thought  which 
I  attained  after  complete  analysis,  I  do  not  yet 
know  the  process  by  which  the  dream  arose  from 
those  thoughts,  but  I  perceive  that  it  is  wrong  to 
regard  the  dream  as  psychically  unimportant,  a 
purely  physical  process  which  has  arisen  from  the 
activity  of  isolated  cortical  elements  awakened  out 
of  sleep. 

I  must  further  remark  that  the  dream  is  far 
shorter  than  the  thoughts  which  I  hold  it  replaces ; 
whilst  analysis  discovered  that  the  dream  was  pro 
voked  by  an  unimportant  occurrence  the  evening  be 
fore  the  dream. 

Naturally,  I  would  not  draw  such  far-reaching 
conclusions  if  only  one  analysis  were  known  to  me. 
Experience  has  shown  me  that  when  the  associations 
of  any  dream  are  honestly  followed  such  a  chain  of 
thought  is  revealed,  the  constituent  parts  of  the 
dream  reappear  correctly  and  sensibly  linked  to 
gether;  the  slight  suspicion  that  this  concatenation. 


14  DREAM  PSYC     OLOGY 

was  merely  an  accident  of  a  single  first  observation 
must,  therefore,  be  absolu  dy  relinquished.  I  re 
gard  it,  therefore,  as  my  right  to  establish  this  new 
view  by  a  proper  nomenclature.  I  contrast  the 
dream  which  my  memory  evokes  with  the  dream 
and  other  added  matter  revealed  by  analysis:  the 
former  I  call  the  dream's  manifest  content;  the  lat 
ter,  without  at  first  further  subdivision,  its  latent 
.content,  I  arrive  at  two  new  problems  hitherto 
unf ormulated :  ( 1 )  What  is  the  psychical  process 
which  has  transformed  the  latent  content  of  the 
dream  into  its  manifest  content?  (2)  What  is  the 
motive  or  the  motives  which  have  made  such  trans 
formation  exigent?  The  process  by  which  the 
change  from  latent  to  manifest  content  is  executed 
I  name  the  dream-wjorfa  In  contrast  with  this  is 
the  work  of  analysis,  which  produces  the  reverse 
transformation.  The  other  problems  of  the  dream 
—the  inquiry  as  to  its  stimuli,  as  to  the  source  of  its 
materials,  as  to  its  possible  purpose,  the  function  of 
dreaming,  the  forgetting  of  dreams — these  I  will 
discuss  in  connection  with  the  latent  dream-con 
tent. 

I  shall  take  every  car  3  to  avoid  a  confusion  be 
tween  the  manifest  and  the  latent  content,  for  I 
ascribe  all  the  contradictory  as  well  as  the  incor 
rect  accounts  of  dream-life  to  the  ignorance  of  this 


DREAMS  HAVE  A  MEANING       15 

latent  content,  now  first  laid  bare  through  analysis. 
The  conversion  of  the  latent  dream  thoughts  into 
those  manifest  deserves  our  close  study  as  the  first 
known  example  of  the  transformation  of  psychical 
stuff  from  one  mode  of  expression  into  another. 
From  a  mode  of  expression  which,  moreover,  is 
readily  intelligible  into  another  which  we  can  only 
penetrate  by  effort  and  with  guidance,  although  this 
new  mode  must  be  equally  reckoned  as  an  effort  of 
our  own  psychical  activity  From  the  standpoint 
of  the  relationship  of  latent  to  manifest  dream-con 
tent,  dreams  can  be  divided  into  three  classes.  We 
can,  in  the  .first  place,  distinguish  those  dreams 
which  haveVa  meaning  and  are,  at  the.  same  time, 
intelligible,  which  allow  us  to  penetrate  into  our 
psychical  life  without  further  ado.  Such  dreams 
are  numerous;  they  are  usually  short,  and,  as  a  gen 
eral  rule,  do  not  seem  very  noticeable,  because 
everything  remarkable  or  exciting  surprise  is  ab- 
jsent.  Their  occurrence  is,  moreover,  a  strong  argu 
ment  against  the  doctrine  which  derives  the  dream 
from  the  isolated  activity  of  certain  cortical  ele 
ments.  All  signs  of  a  lowered  or  subdivided  psy 
chical  activity  are  wanting.  Yet  we  never  raise 
any  objection  to  characterizing  them  as  dreams,  nor 
do  we  confound  them  with  the  products  of  our  wak 
ing  life. 


16  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

A  second  group  is  formed  by  those  dreams  which 
are  indeed  self -coherent  and  have  a  distinct  mean 
ing,  but  appear  strange  because  we  are  unable  to 
reconcile  their  meaning  with  our  mental  life.  That 
is  the  case  when  we  dream,  for  instance,  that  some 
dear  relative  has  died  of  plague  when  we  know  of 
no  ground  for  expecting,  apprehending,  or  assum 
ing  anything  of  the  sort;  we  can  only  ask  ourself 
wonderingly :  "What  brought  that  into  my  head  ?" 
To  the  third  group  those  dreams  belong  which  are 
void  of  both  meaning  and  intelligibility;  they  are 
incoherent,,  complicated,  and  meaningless.  The 
overwhelming  number  of  our  dreams  partake  of 
this  character,  and  this  has  given  rise  to  the  con 
temptuous  attitude  towards  dreams  and  the  medical 
theory  of  their  limited  psychical  activity.  ItJs.es? 
pecially  in  the  longer  and  more  complicated  dream- 
plots  that  signs  of  incoherence  are  seldom  missing. 

The  contrast  between  manifest  and  latent  dream-: 
content  is  clearly  only  of  value  for  the  dreams  of 
the  second  and  more  especially  for  those  of  the  third 
class.  Here  are  problems  which  are  only  solved 
when  the  manifest  dream  is  replaced  by  its  latent 
content;  it  was  an  example  of  this  kind,  a  compli 
cated  and  unintelligible  dream,  that  we  subjected  to 
analysis.  Against  our  expectation  we,  however, 
struck  upon  reasons  which  prevented  a  complete 


DREAMS  HAVE  A  MEANING       17 

cognizance  of  the  latent  dream  thought.  On  the 
repetition  of  this  same  experience  we  were  forced 
to  the  supposition  that  there  is  an  intimate  bond, 
with  laws  of  its  own,  between  the  unintelligible  and 
complicated  nature  of  the  dream  and  the  difficulties 
attending  communication  of  the  thoughts  connected 
with  the  dream*  Before  investigating  the  nature 
of  this  bond,  it  will  be  advantageous  to  turn  our 
attention  to  the  more  readily  intelligible  dreams  of 
the  first  class  where,  the  manifest  and  latent  con 
tent  being  identical,  the  dream  work  seems  to  be 
.omitted. 

The  investigation  of  these  dreams  is  also  advisa 
ble  from  another  standpoint.  The  dreams  of  chilr 
dren  are  of  this  nature;  they  have  a  meaning,  and 
are  not  bizarre.  This,  by  the  way,  is  a  further  ob 
jection  to  reducing  dreams  to  a  dissociation  of  cere 
bral  activity  in  sleep,  for  why  should  such  a  lower 
ing  of  psychical  functions  belong  to  the  nature  of 
sleep  in  adults,  but  not  in  children?  We  are,  how 
ever,  fully  justified  in  expecting  that  the  explana 
tion  of  psychical  processes  in  children,  essentially 
simplified  as  they  may  be,  should  serve  as  an  indis 
pensable  preparation  towards  the  psychology  of  the 
adult. 

I  shall  therefore  cite  some  examples  of  dreams 
which  I  have  gathered  from  children.  A  girl  of 


18  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

nineteen  months  was  made  to  go  without  food  for 
a  day  because  she  had  been  sick  in  the  morning, 
and,  according  to  nurse,  had  made  herself  ill 
through  eating  strawberries.  During  the  night, 
after  her  day  of  fasting,  she  was  heard  calling  out 
her  name  during  sleep,  and  adding:  "Tcwoberry, 
eggs.,  pap"  She  is  dreaming  that  she  is  eating, 
and  selects  out  of  her  menu  exactly  what  she  sup 
poses  she  will  not  get  much  of  just  now. 

The  same  kind  of  dream  about  a  forbidden  dish 
was  that  of  a  little  boy  of  twenty-two  months.  The 
day  before  he  was  told  to  offer  his  uncle  a  present 
of  a  small  basket  of  cherries,  of  which  the  child 
was,  of  course,  only  allowed  one  to  taste.  He 
woke  up  with  the  joyful  news:  "Hermann  eaten 
up  all  the  cherries." 

A  girl  of  three  and  a  half  years  had  made  during 
the  day  a  sea  trip  which  was  too  short  for  her,  and 
she  cried  when  she  had  to  get  out  of  the  boat.  The 
next  morning  her  story  was  that  during  the  night 
she  had  been  on  the  sea,  thus  continuing  the  inter 
rupted  trip. 

A  boy  of  five  and  a  half  years  was  not  at  all 
pleased  with  his  party  during  a  walk  in  the  Dach- 
stein  region.  Whenever  a  new  peak  came  into 
sight  he  asked  if  that  were  the  Dachstein,  and,  fi 
nally,  refused  to  accompany  the  party  to  the  water- 


DREAMS  HAVE  A  MEANING       19 

fall.  His  behavior  was  ascribed  to  fatigue;  but  a 
better  explanation  was  forthcoming  when  the  next 
morning  he  told  his  dream:  he  had  ascended  the 
Dachstein.  Obviously  he  expected  the  ascent  of 
the  Dachstein  to  be  the  object  of  the  excursion,  and 
was  vexed  by  not  getting  a  glimpse  of  the  moun 
tain.  The  dream  gave  him  what  the  day  had  with 
held.  The  dream  of  a  girl  of  six  was  similar;  her 
father  had  cut  short  the  walk  before  reaching  the 
promised  objective  on  account  of  the  lateness  of  the 
hour.  On  the  way  back  she  noticed  a  signpost  giv 
ing  the  name  of  another  place  for  excursions ;  her 
father  promised  to  take  her  there  also  some  other 
day.  She  greeted  her  father  next  day  with  the 
news  that  she  had  dreamt  that  her  father  had  been 
with  her  to  both  places. 

What  is  common  in  all  these  dreams  is  obvious. 
They  completely  satisfy  wishes  excited  during  the 
day  which  remain  unrealized.  They  are  simply 
and  undisguisedly  realizations  of  wishes. 

The  following  child-dream,  not  quite  understand 
able  at  first  sight,  is  nothing  else  than  a  wish  re 
alized.  On  account  of  poliomyelitis  a  girl,  not 
quite  four  years  of  age,  was  brought  from  the  coun 
try  into  town,  and  remained  over  night  with  a  child 
less  aunt  in  a  big — for  her,  naturally,  huge — bed. 
The  next  morning  she  stated  that  she  had  dreamt 


20  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

that  the  bed  was  much  too  small  for  her,  so  that  she 
could  find  no  place  in  it.  To  explain  this  dream  as 
a  wish  is  easy  when  we  remember  that  to  be  "big" 
is  a  frequently  expressed  wish  of  all  children.  The 
bigness  of  the  bed  reminded  Miss  Little-Would- 
be-Big  only  too  forcibly  of  her  smallness.  This 
nasty  situation  became  righted  in  her  dream,  and 
she  grew  so  big  that  the  bed  now  became  too  small 
for  her. 

Even  when  children's  dreams  are  complicated 
and  polished,  their  comprehension  as  a  realization 
of  desire  is  fairly  evident.  A  boy  of  eight  dreamt 
that  he  was  being  driven  with  Achilles  in  a  war- 
chariot,  guided  by  Diomedes.  The  day  before  he 
was  assiduously  reading  about  great  heroes.  It  is 
easy  to  show  that  he  took  these  heroes  as  his  models, 
and  regretted  that  he  was  not  living  in  those  days. 

From  this  short  collection  of  further  character 
istic  of  the  dreams  of  children  is  manifest— th eir 
.connection  with  the  life  of  the  day.  The  desires 
which  are  realized  in  these  dreams  are  left  over 
from  the  day  or,  as  a  rule,  the  day  previous,  and 
the  feeling  has  become  intently  emphasized  and 
fixed  during  the  day  thoughts.  Accidental  and  in 
different  matters,  or  what  must  appear  so  to  the 
child,  find  no  acceptance  in  the  contents  of  the 
dream. 


DREAMS  HAVE  A  MEANING       21 

Innumerable  instances  of  such  dreams  of  the  in 
fantile  type  can  be  found  among  adults  also,  but, 
as  mentioned,  these  are  mostly  exactly  like  the  man 
ifest  content.  Thus,  a  random  selection  of  per 
sons  will  generally  respond  to  thirst  at  night-time 
with  a  dream  about  drinking,  thus  striving  to  get 
rid  of  the  sensation  and  to  let  sleep  continue. 
Many  persons  frequently  have  these  comforting 
dreams  before  waking,  just  when  they  are  called. 
They  then  dream  that  they  are  already  up,  that  they 
are  washing,  or  already  in  school,  at  the  office,  etc., 
where  they  ought  to  be  at  a  given  time.  The  night 
before  an  intended  journey  one  not  infrequently 
dreams  that  one  has  already  arrived  at  the  destina 
tion  ;  before  going  to  a  play  or  to  a  party  the  dream 
not  infrequently  anticipates,  in  impatience,  as  it 
were,  the  expected  pleasure.  At  other  times  the 
dream  expresses  the  realization  of  the  desire  some 
what  indirectly ;  some  connection,  some  sequel  must 
be  known — the  first  step  towards  recognizing  the 
desire.  Thus,  when  a  husband  related  to  me  the 
dream  of  his  young  wife,  that  her  monthly  period 
had  begun,  I  had  to  bethink  myself  that  the  young 
wife  would  have  expected  a  pregnancy  if  the  period 
had  been  absent.  The  dream  is  then  a  sign  of 
pregnancy.  Its  meaning  is  that  it  shows  the  wish 
realized  that  pregnancy  should  not  occur  just  yet. 


22  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

Under  unusual  and  extreme  circumstances,  these 
dreams  of  the  infantile  type  become  very  frequent. 
The  leader  of  a  polar  expedition  tells  us,  for  in 
stance,  that  during  the  wintering  amid  the  ice  the 
crew,  with  their  monotonous  diet  and  slight  rations, 
dreamt  regularly,  like  children,  of  fine  meals,  of 
mountains  of  tobacco,  and  of  home. 

It  is  not  uncommon  that  out  of  some  long,  com 
plicated  and  intricate  dream  one  specially  lucid  part 
stands  out  containing  unmistakably  the  realization 
.of  a  desire,  but  bound  up  with  much  unintelligible 
matter.  On  more  frequently  analyzing  the  seem 
ingly  more  transparent  dreams  of  adults,  it  is  as 
tonishing  to  discover  that  these  are  rarely  as  simple 
as  the  dreams  of  children,  and  that  they  cover  an 
other  meaning  beyond  that  of  the  realization  of  a 
wish. 

It  would  certainly  be  a  simple  and  convenient 
solution  of  the  riddle  if  the  work  of  analysis  made 
it  at  all  possible  for  us  to  trace  the  meaningless  and 
intricate  dreams  of  adults  back  to  the  infantile  type, 
to  the  realization  of  some  intensely  experienced  de 
sire  of  the  day.  But  there  is  no  warrant  for  such 
an  expectation.  Their  dreams  are  generally  full 
of  the  most  indifferent  and  bizarre  matter,  and  no 
trace  of  the  realization  of  the  wish  is  to  be  found  in 
.their  content. 


DREAMS  HAVE  A  MEANING       23 

Before  leaving  these  infantile  dreams,  which  are 
obviously  unrealized  desires,  we  must  not  fail  to 
mention  another  chief  characteristic  of  dreams,  one 
that  has  been  long  noticed,  and  one  which  stands 
out  most  clearly  in  this  class.  I  can  replace  any  of 
these  dreams  by  a  phrase  expressing  a  desire.  If 
the  sea  trip  had  only  lasted  longer ;  if  I  were  only 
washed  and  dressed;  if  I  had  only  been  allowed  to 
keep  the  cherries  instead  of  giving  them  to  my  uncle. 
But  the  dream  gives  something  more  than  the 
.choice,  for  here  the  desire  is  already  realized;  its 
realization  is  real  and  actual.  The  dream  presenta 
tions  consist  chiefly,  if  not  wholly,  .of  scenes  and 
mainly  of  visual  sense  images.  Hence  a  kind  of 
transformation  is  not  entirely  absent  in  this  class  of 
dreams,  and  this  may  be  fairly  designated  as  the 
dream  work.  £n  idea  merely  existing  in  the  region 
of  possibility  is  replaced  by  a  vision  of  its  accom 
plishment. 


II 

THE  DREAM  MECHANISM 

WE  are  compelled  to  assume  that  such  transforma 
tion  of  scene  has  also  taken  place  in  intricate 
.dreams,  though  we  do  not  know  whether  it  has  en 
countered  any  possible  desire.  The  dream  in 
stanced  at  the  commencement,  which  we  analyzed 
somewhat  thoroughly,  did  give  us  occasion  in  two 
places  to  suspect  something  of  the  kind.  Analysis 
brought  out  that  my  wife  was  occupied  with  others 
at  table,  and  that  I  did  not  like  it ;  in  the  dream  it 
self  exactly  the  opposite  occurs,  for  the  person  who 
replaces  my  wife  gives  me  her  undivided  attention. 
But  can  one  wish  for  anything  pleasanter  after  a 
disagreeable  incident  than  that  the  exact  contrary 
should  have  occurred,  just  as  the  dream  has  it? 
The  stinging  thought  in  the  analysis,  that  I  have 
never  had  anything  for  nothing,  is  similarly  con 
nected  with  the  woman's  remark  in  the  dream: 
"You  have  always  had  such  beautiful  eyes."  Some 
portion  of  the  opposition  between  the  latent  and 
manifest  content  of  the  dream  must  be  therefore 
derived  from  the  realization  of  a  wish. 

24 


THE  DREAM  MECHANISM         25 

Another  manifestation  of  the  dream  work  which 
all  incoherent  dreams  have  in  common  is  still  more 
noticeable.  Choose  any  instance,  and  compare  the 
number  of  separate  elements  in  it,  or  the  extent  of 
the  dream,  if  written  down,  with  the  dream  thoughts 
yielded  by  analysis,  and  of  which  but  a  trace  can 
be  refound  in  the  dream  itself.  There  can  be  no 
doubt  that  the  dream  working  has  resulted  in  an 
extraordinary  compression  or  condensation.  It  is 
not  at  first  easy  to  form  an  opinion  as  to  the  extent 
of  the  condensation;  the  more  deeply  you  go  into 
the  analysis,  the  more  deeply  you  are  impressed  by 
it.  There  will  be  found  no  factor  in  the  dream 
whence  the  chains  of  associations  do  not  lead  in  two 
or  more  directions,  no  scene  which  has  not  been 
pieced  together  out  of  two  or  more  impressions  and 
events.  For  instance,  I  once  dreamt  about  a  kind 
of  swimming-bath  where  the  bathers  suddenly  sep 
arated  in  all  directions;  at  one  place  on  the  edge  a 
person  stood  bending  towards  one  of  the  bathers  as 
if  to  drag  him  out.  The  scene  was  a  composite  one, 
made  up  out  of  an  event  that  occurred  at  the  time 
of  puberty,  and  of  two  pictures,  one  of  which  I  had 
seen  just  shortly  before  the  dream.  The  two  pic 
tures  were  The  Surprise  in  the  Bath,  from 
Schwind's  Cycle -of  the  Melusine  (note  the  bathers 
suddenly  separating),  and.  The  Flood,  by  an 


26  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

Italian  master.  The  little  incident  was  that  I 
once  witnessed  a  lady,  who  had  tarried  in  the  swim 
ming-bath  until  the  men's  hour,  being  helped  out 
of  the  water  by  the  swimming-master.  The  scene 
in  the  dream  which  was  selected  for  analysis  led  to 
a  whole  group  of  reminiscences,  each  one  of  which 
had  contributed  to  the  dream  content.  First  of  all 
came  the  little  episode  from  the  time  of  my  court 
ing,  of  which  I  have  already  spoken;  the  pressure 
of  a  hand  under  the  table  gave  rise  in  the  dream  to 
the  "under  the  table,"  which  I  had  subsequently  to 
find  a  place  for  in  my  recollection.  There  was,  of 
course,  at  the  time  not  a  word  about  "undivided  at 
tention."  Analysis  taught  me  that  this  factor  is 
the  realization  of  a  desire  through  its  contradictory 
and  related  to  the  behavior  of  my.  wife  at  the  table 
d'hote.  An  exactly  similar  and  much  more  im 
portant  episode  of  our  courtship,  one  which  sepa 
rated  us  for  an  entire  day,  lies  hidden  behind  this 
recent  recollection.  The  intimacy,  the  hand  rest 
ing  upon  the  knee,  refers  to  a  quite  different  con 
nection  arid  to  quite  other  persons.  This  element 
in  the  dream  becomes  again  the  starting-point  of 
two  distinct  series  of  reminiscences,  and  so  on. 

The  stuff  of  the  dream  thoughts  which  has  been 
accumulated  for  the  formation  of  the  dream  scene 
must  be  naturally  fit  for  this  application.  There 


THE  DREAM  MECHANISM         27 

must  be  one  or  more  common  factors.  The  dream 
work  proceeds  like"  Francis  Galton  with  his  family 
photographs.  The  different  elements  _are_  put  one 
on  top  of  the  other;  what  is  common ^ to  the  com 
posite  picture  stands  out  clearly,  the  opposing  de 
tails  cancel  each  other.  This  process  of  repro 
duction  partly  explains  the  wavering  statements, 
of  a  peculiar  vagueness,  in  so  many  elements  of  thje 
dream.  For  the  interpretation  of  dreams  this  rule 
holds  good:  When  analysis  discloses  uncertainty. 
as  to  either — or  read  and.,  taking  each  section  of 
the  app'arent  alternatives  as  a  separate  outlet  for  a 
series  of  impressions* 

When  there  is  nothing  in  common  between  the 
dream  thoughts,  the  dream  work  takes  the  trouble 
to  create  a  something,  in  order  to  make  a  common 
presentation  feasible  in  the  dream.  The  simplest 
way  to  approximate  two  dream  thoughts,  which 
have  as  yet  nothing  in  common,  consists  in  making 
such  a  change  in  the  actual  expression  of  one  rdea 
.as  will  meet  a  .slight  responsive  recasting  in  the  form 
of  the  other  idea.  The  process  is  analogous  to  that 
of  rhyme,  when-  consonance  supplies  the  desired 
common  factor.  A  good  deal  of  the  dreani  work 
consists  in  the  creation  of  those  frequently,  very 
witty,  but  often  exaggerated,  digressions.  These 
vary  from  the  common  presentation  in  the  dream 


28  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

content  to  dream  thoughts  which  are  as  varied  as 
are*  the  causes  in  form  and  essence  which  give  rise 
to  them.  In  the  analysis  of  our.  example  of  a 
dream,  I  find  a  like  case  of  the  transformation  of  a 
thought  in  order  that  it  might  agree  with  another 
essentially  foreign  one.  In  following  out  the  an 
alysis  I  struck  upon  the  thought :  I  should  like  to 
have  something  for  nothing.  But  this  formula  is 
not  serviceable  to  the  dream.  Hence  it  is  replaced 
by  another  one:  "I  should  like  to  enjoy  something 
free  of  cost."  l  The  word  "kost"  (taste) ,  with  its 
double  meaning,  is  appropriate  to  a  table  d'hote ;  it, 
moreover,  is  in  place  through  the  special  sense  in  the 
dream.  At  home  if  there  is  a  dish  which  the  chil 
dren  decline,  their  mother  first  tries  gentle  persua 
sion,  with  a  "Just  taste  it."  That  the  dream  work 
should  unhesitatingly  use  the  double  meaning  of 
the  word  is  certainly  remarkable ;  ample  experience 
has  shown,  however,  tha/t  the  occurrence  is  quite 
usual. 

Through  condensation  of  the  dream  certain  con,- 

i"Ich  mochte  gerne  etwas  geniessen  ohne  'Kosten'  zu  haben."  A 
a  pun  upon  the  word  "kosten,"  which  has  two  meanings — "taste"  and 
"cost."  In  "Die  Traumdeutung,"  third  edition,  p.  71  footnote,  Pro 
fessor  Freud  remarks  that  "the  finest  example  of  dream  interpreta 
tion  left  us  by  the  ancients  is  based  upon  a  pun"  (from  "The  Inter 
pretation  of  Dreams,"  by  Artemidorus  Daldianus).  "Moreover, 
dreams  are  so  intimately  bound  up  with  language  that  Ferenczi  truly 
points  out  that  every  tongue  has  its  own  language  of  dreams.  A 
dream  is  as  a  rule  untranslatable  into  other  languages."— TBANSLATOR. 


THE  DREAM  MECHANISM         29 

^tituent  parts  of  its  content  ar.e  explicable  which 
are  peculiar  to  the  dream  life  alone,  and  which  are 
not  found  in  the  waking  state.  Such  are  the  com 
posite  and  mixed  persons,  the  extraordinary  mixed 
figures,  creations  comparable  with  the  fantastic 
animal  compositions  of  Orientals;  a  moment's 
thought  and  these  are  reduced  to  unity,  whilst  the 
fancies  of  the  dream  are  ever  formed  anew  in  an 
inexhaustible  "profusion.  Every  one  knows  such 
images  in  his  own  dreams;  manifold  are  their  or 
igins.  I  can  build  up  a  person  by  borrowing  one 
feature  from  one  person  and  one  from  another,  or 
by  giving  to  the  form  of  one  the  name  of  another  in 
my  dream.  I  can  also  visualize  one  person,  but 
place  him  in  a  position  which  has  occurred  to  an 
other.  There  is  -a  meaning  in  all  these  cases  when 
different  persons  ar*e  amalgamated  into  one  substi 
tute.  Such  cases  denote  an  "and,"  a  "just  like,"  a 
comparison  of  the  original  person  from  a  certain 
point  of  view,  a  comparison  which  can  be  also  re 
alized  in  the  dream  itself.  As  a  rule,  however,  the 
identity  of  the  blended  persons  is  only  discoverable 
by  analysis,  and  is  only  indicated  in  the  dream  con 
tent  by  the  formation  of  the  "combined"  person. 

The  same  diversity  in  their  ways  of  formation 
and  the  same  rules  for  its  solution  hold  good  also 
for  the  innumerable  medley  of  dream  contents-,  ex- 


30  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

amples  -of  which  I  need  scarcely  adduce.  Their 
strangeness  quite  disappears,  when  we  resolve  not 
to  place  them  on  a  level  with  the  objects  of  percep 
tion  as  known  to  us  when  awake,  but  to  remember 
that  they  represent  the_art_of  dream  condensation 
by  an  exclusion  of  unnecessary  detail.  Promin 
ence  is  given  to  the  common  character  of  the  com 
bination.  Analysis  must  also  generally  supply  the 
common  features.  The  dream  says  simply:  All 
these  things  have  an  f<x"  in  common.  The  decorti- 
position  of  these  mixed  images  by  analysis  is  often 
the  quickest  way  to  an  interpretation  of  the  dream. 
Thus  I  once  dreamt  that  I  was  sitting  with  one  of 
my  former  university  tutors  on  a  bench,  which  was 
undergoing  a  rapid  continuous  movement  amidst 
other  benches.  This  was  a  combination  of  lecture- 
room  and  moving  staircase.  I  will  not  pursue  the 
further  result  of  the  thought.  Another  time  I  was 
sitting  in  a  carriage,  and  on  my  lap  an  object  in 
shape  like  a  top-hat,  which,  however,  was  made  of 
transparent  glass.  The  scene  at  once  brought  to 
my  mind  the  proverb:  "He  who  keeps  his  hat  in 
his  hand  will  travel  safely  through  the  land.''  By 
a  slight  turn  the  glass  hat  reminded  me  of  Auer's 
light,  and  I  knew  that  I  was  about  to  invent  some 
thing  which  was  to  make  me  as  rich  and  independent 
as  his  invention  had  made  my  countryman,  Dr. 


THE  DREAM  MECHANISM         31 

Auer,  of  Welsbach;  then  I  should  be  able  to  travel 
instead  of  remaining  in  Vienna.  In  the  dream  I 
was  traveling  with  my  invention,  with  the,  it  is  true, 
rather  awkward  glass  top-hat.  The  dream  work  is 
peculiarly  adept  at  representing  two  contradictory 
conceptions  by  means  of  the  same  mixed  image. 
Thus,  for  instance,  a  woman  dreamt  of  herself 
carrying  a  tall  flower-stalk,  as  in  the  picture  of  the 
Annunciation  (Chastity-Mary  is  her  own  name), 
but  the  stalk  was  bedecked  with  thick  white  blos 
soms  resembling  camellias  (contrast  with  chastity: 
La  dame  aux  Camelias). 

A  great  deal  of  what  we  have  called  "dream  con 
densation"  can  be  thus  formulated.  Each  one  of 
the  elements  of  the  dream  content  is  ovefdet er 
mine  d  by  the  matter  of  the  dream  thoughts ;  it  is  not 
derived  from  one  element  of  these  thoughts,  but 
from  a  whole  series.  These  are  not  necessarily  in 
terconnected  in  any  way,  but  may  belong  to  the 
most  diverse  spheres  of  thought.  The  dream  ele 
ment  truly  represents  all  this  disparate  matter  in 
the  dream  content.  Analysis,  moreover,  discloses 
another  side  of  the  relationship  between  dream  con 
tent  and  dream  thoughts.  Just  as  one  element  of 
the  dream  leads  to  associations  with  several  dream 
thoughts,  so,  as  a  rule,  the  one  dream  thought  re pre.- 
sents  more  than  one  dream  element.  The  threads 


32  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

of  the  association  do  not  simply  converge  from  the 
dream  thoughts  to  the  dream  content,  but  on  the 
way  they  overlap  and  interweave  in  every  way. 

Next  to  the  transformation  of  one  thought  in  the 
scene  (its  "dramatization"),  condensation  is  the 
most  important  and  mast  characteristic  feature  of 
the  dream  work.  We  have  as  yet  no  clue  as  to 
the  motive  calling  for  such  compression  of  the  con 
tent. 

In  the  complicated  and  intricate  dreams  with 
which  we  are  now  concerned,  condensation  and 
dramatization  do  not  wholly  account  for  the  differ 
ence  between,  dream  contents  and  dream  thoughts. 
There  is  evidence  of  a  third  factor,  which  deserves 
careful  consideration. 

When  I  have  arrived  at  an  understanding  of  the 
dream  thoughts  by  my  analysis  I  notice,  above  all, 
that  the  matter  of  the  manifest  is  very  different 
.from  that  of  the  latent  dream  content.  That  is,  I 
admit,  only  an  apparent  difference  which  vanishes 
on  closer  investigation,  for  in  the  end  I  find  the 
whole  dream  content  carried  out  in  the  dream 
thoughts,  nearly  all  the  dream  thoughts  again  repre 
sented  in  the  dream  content.  Nevertheless,  there 
does  remain  a  certain  amount  of  difference. 

The  essential  content  which  stood  out  clearly  and 
broadly  in  the  dream  must,  after  analysis,  rest  satis- 


THE  DREAM  MECHANISM         33 

fied  with  a  very  subordinate  role  among  the  dreain 
thoughts,,  These  very  dream  thoughts  which,  go 
ing  by  my  feelings,  have  a  claim  to  the  greatest 
importance  are  either  not  present  at  all  in  the  dream 
content,  or  are  represented  by  some  remote  allusion* 
in  some  obscure  region  of  the  dream.  I  can  thus 
describe  these  phenomena:  During  the  dream- 
work  the  psychical  intensity  of  those  thoughts  and 
conceptions  to  which  it  properly  pertains  flows  to 
others  which,  in  my  judgment,  have  no  claim  to 
such  emphasis.  There  is  no  other  process  which 
contributes  so  much  to  concealment  of  the  dream's 
meaning  and  to  make  the  connection  between  the 
dream  content  and  dream  ideas  irrecognizable. 
During  this  process,  which  I  will  call  the  dream, 
displacement,  I  notice  also  the  psychical  intensity, 
significance,  or  emotional  nature  of  the  thoughts 
become  transposed  .in. ..sensory  vividness.  What 
was  clearest  in  the  dream  seems  to  me,  without  fur 
ther  consideration,  the  most  important;  but  often 
in  some  obscure  element  of  the  dream  I  can  rec 
ognize  the  most  direct  offspring  of  the  principal 
dream  thought. 

I  could  only  designate  this  dream  displacement 
as  the  transvaluation  of  psychical  values.  The 
phenomena  will  not  have  been  considered  in  all  its 
bearings  unless  I  add  that  this  displacement  or 


3*  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

transvaluation  is  shared  by  different  dreams  in  ex 
tremely  varying  degrees.  There  are  dreams  which 
take  place  almost  without  any  displacement. 
These  have  the  same  time,  meaning,  and  intelligibil 
ity  as  we  found  in  the  dreams  which  recorded  a 
desire.  In  other  dreams  not  a  bit  of  the  dream 
idea  has  retained  its  own  psychical  value,  or  every 
thing  essential  in  these  dream  ideas  has  been  re 
placed  by  unessentials,  whilst  every  kind  of  transi 
tion  between  these  conditions  can  be  found.  The 
more  obscure  and  intricate  a  dream  is,  the  greater 
is  the  part  to  be  ascribed  to  the  impetus  of  displace 
ment  in  its  formation. 

The  example  that  we  chose  for  analysis  shows,  at 
least,  this  much  of  displacement — that  its  content 
has  a  different  center  of  interest  from  that  of  the 
dream  ideas.  In  the  forefront  of  the  dream  con 
tent  the  main  scene  appears  as  if  a  woman  wished 
to  make  advances  to  me ;  in  the  dream  idea  the  chief 
interest  rests  on  the  desire  to  enjoy  disinterested 
love  which  shall  "cost  nothing" ;  this  idea  lies  at  the 
back  of  the  talk  about  the  beautiful  eyes  and  the 
far-fetched  allusion  to  "spinach." 

If  we  abolish  the  dream  displacement,  we  attain 
through  analysis  quite  certain  conclusions  regard 
ing  two  problems  of  the  dream  which  are  most  dis 
puted — as  to  what  provokes  a  dream  at  all,  and  as 


THE  DREAM  MECHANISM         35 

to  the  connection  of  the  dream  with  our  waking  life. 
There  are  dreams  which  at  once  expose  their  links 
with  the  events  of  the  day;  in  others  no  trace  of 
such  a  connection  can  be  found.  By  the  aid  of  an 
alysis  it  can  be  shown  that  every  dream,  without 
any  exception,  is  linked  up  with  our  impression  of 
the  day,  or  perhaps  it  would  be  more  correct  to  say 
of  the  day  previous  to  the  dream.  The  impressions 
which  have  incited  the  dream  may  be  so  important 
that  we  are  not  surprised  at  our  being  occupied 
with  them  whilst  awake ;  in  this  case  we  are  right  in 
saying  that  the  dream  carries  on  the  chief  interest 
of  our  waking  life.  More  usually,  however,  when 
the  dream  contains  anything  relating  to  the  impres 
sions  of  the  day,  it  is  so  trivial,  unimportant,  and  so 
deserving  of  oblivion,  that  we  can  only  recall  it  with 
an  effort.  The  dream  content  appears,  then,  even 
when  coherent  and  intelligible,  to  be  concerned  with 
those  indifferent  trifles  of  thought  undeserving  of 
our  waking  interest.  The  depreciation  of  dreams 
is  largely  due  to  the  predominance  of  the  indifferent 
#nd  the  worthless  in  their  content. 

Analysis  destroys  the  appearance  upon  which  this 
derogatory  judgment  is  based.  When  the  dream 
content  discloses  nothing  but  some  indifferent  im 
pression  as  instigating  the  dream,  analysis  ever  in 
dicates  some  significant  event,  which  has  been  re- 


36  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

place'd  by  something  indifferent  with  which  it  has 
entered  into  abundant  associations.  Where  the 
dream  is  concerned  with  uninteresting  and  unim 
portant  conceptions,  analysis  reveals  the  numerous 
associative  paths  which  connect  the  trivial  with  the 
momentous  in  the  psychical  estimation  of  the  indi 
vidual.  It  is  only  the  action  of  displacement  if 
what  is  indifferent  obtains  recognition  in  the  dream 
content  instead  of  those  impressions  which  are 
really  the  stimulus,  or  instead  of  the  things  of  real 
interest.  In  answering  the  question  as  to  what  pro 
vokes  the  dream,  as  to  the  connection  of  the  dream, 
in  the  daily  troubles,  we  must  say,  in  terms  of  the 
insight  given  us  by  replacing  the  manifest  latent 
dream  content:  The  dream  does  never  trouble  it- 
$glf  about  things  which  are  not  deserving  of  our 
concern  during  the  day,  and  trivialities  which  do  not 
trouble  us  during  the  day  have  no  power  to  pursue, 
us  whilst  asleep 

What  provoked  the  dream  in  the  example  which 
we  have  analyzed?  The  really  unimportant  event, 
that  a  friend  invited  me  to  a  free  ride  in  his  cab. 
The  table  d'hote  scene  in  the  dream  contains  an 
allusion  to  this  indifferent  motive,  for  in  conversa 
tion  I  had  brought  the  taxi  parallel  with  the  table 
d'hote.  But  I  can  indicate  the  important  event 
which  has  as  its  substitute  the  trivial  one.  A  few 


THE  DREAM  MECHANISM         37 

days  before  I  had  disbursed  a  large  sum  of  money 
for  a  member  of  my  family  who  is  very  dear  to 
me.  Small  wonder,  says  the  dream  thought,  if  this 
person  is  grateful  to  me  for  this — this  love  is  not 
cost-free.  But  love  that  shall  cost  nothing  is  one 
of  the  prime  thoughts  of  the  dream.  The  fact  that 
shortly  before  this  I  had  had  several  drives  with 
the  relative  in  question  puts  the  one  drive  with  my 
friend  in  a  position  to  recall  the  connection  with  the 
other  person.  The  indifferent  impression  which, 
by  such  ramifications,  provokes  the  dream  is  sub 
servient  to  another  condition  which  is  not  true  of 
the  real  source  of  the  dream — the  impression  must 
be  a  recent  one,  everything  arising  from  the  day  of 
the  dream. 

I  cannot  leave  the  question  of  dream  displace 
ment  without  the  consideration  of  a  remarkable 
process  in  the  formation  of  dreams  in  which  con 
densation  and  displacement  work  together  towards 
^ne  end.  In  condensation  we  have  already  con 
sidered  the  case  where  two  conceptions  in  the  dream 
having  something  in  common,  some  point  of  con 
tact,  are  replaced  in  the  dream  content  by  a  mixed 
image,  where  the  distinct  germ  corresponds  to  what 
is  common,  and  the  indistinct  secondary  modifica 
tions  to  what  is  distinctive.  If  displacement  is 
added  to  condensation,  there  is  no  formation  of  a 


38  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

mixed  image,  but  a  common  mean  which  bears  the 
same  relationship  to  the  individual  elements  as  does 
the  resultant  in  the  parallelogram  of  forces  to  its 
components.  In  one  of  my  dreams,  for  instance, 
there  is  talk  of  an  injection  with  propyl.  On  first 
analysis  I  discovered  an  indifferent  but  true  inci 
dent  where  amyl  played  a  part  as  the  excitant  of 
the  dream.  I  cannot  yet  vindicate  the  exchange 
of  amyl  for  propyl.  To  the  round  of  ideas  of  the 
same  dream,  however,  there  belongs  the  recollection 
of  my  first  visit  to  Munich,  when  the  Propylcea 
struck  me.  The  attendant  circumstances  of  the 
analysis  render  it  admissible  that  the  influence  of 
this  second  group  of  conceptions  caused  the  dis 
placement  of  amyl  to  propyl.  Propyl  is,  so  to  say, 
the  mean  idea  between  amyl  and  propylcea;  it  got 
into  the  dream  as  a  kind  of  compromise  by  simultan 
eous  condensation  and  displacement. 

The  need  of  discovering  some  motive  for  this  be 
wildering  work  of  the  dream  is  even  more  called  for 
in  the  case  of  displacement  than  in  condensation. 

Although  the  work  of  displacement  must  be  held 
mainly  responsible  if  the  dream  thoughts  are  not 
refound  or  recognized  in  the  dream  content  (unless 
the  motive  of  the  changes  be  guessed) ,  it  is  another 
and  milder  kind  of  transformation  which  will  be 
considered  with  the  dream  thoughts  which  leads  to 


THE  DREAM  MECHANISM         39 

the  discovery  of  a  new  but  readily  understood  act 
of  the  dream  work.  The  first  dream  thoughts 
which  are  unravelled  by  analysis  frequently  strike 
one  by  their  unusual  wording.  They  do  not  ap 
pear  to  be  expressed  in  the  sober  form  which  our 
thinking  prefers;  rather  are  they  expressed  sym 
bolically  by  allegories  and  metaphors  like  the  fig 
urative  language  of  the  poets.  It  is  not  difficult 
to  find  the  motives  for  this  degree  of  constraint  in 
the  expression  of  dream  ideas.  The  dream-  content 
consists  chiefly  of  visual  scenes;  hence  the  dream 
ideas  must,  in  the  first  place,  be  prepared  to  make 
use  of  these  forms  of  presentation.  Conceive  that 
a  political  leader's  or  a  barrister's  address  had  to  be 
transposed  into  pantomime,  and  it  will  be  easy  to 
understand  the  transformations  to  which  the  dream 
work  is  constrained  by  regard  for  this  dramatization 
of  tJie  dream  content. 

Around  the  psychical  stuff  of  dream  thoughts 
there  are  ever  found  reminiscences  of  impressions, 
not  infrequently  of  early  childhood— rscenes  which, 
as  a  rule,  have  been  visually  grasped.  Whenever 
possible,  this  portion  of  the  dream  ideas  exercises 
a  definite  influence  upon  the  modelling  of  the  dream 
content ;  it  works  like  a  center  of  crystallization,  by 
attracting  and  rearranging  the  stuff  of  the  dream 
thoughts.  The  scene  of  the  dream  is  not  infre- 


40  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

quently  nothing  but  a  modified  repetition,  compli: 
cated  by  interpolations  of  events  that  have  left  such 
.an  impression;  the  dream  but  very  seldom  repro 
duces  accurate  and  unmixed  reproductions  of  real 
scenes. 

The  dream  content  does  not,  however,  consist 
exclusively  of  scenes,  but  it  also  includes  scattered 
fragments  of  visual  images,  conversations,  and  even 
bits  of  unchanged  thoughts-  It  will  be  perhaps  to 
the  point  if  we  instance  in  the  briefest  way  the 
means  of  dramatization  which  are  at  the  disposal 
of  the  dream  work  for  the  repetition  of  the  dream 
thoughts  in  the  peculiar  language  of  the  dream. 

The  dream  thoughts  which  we  learn  from  the 
analysis  exhibit  themselves~^s~a  -psychical  complex, 
of  the  most  complicated  superstructure.  Their 
parts  stand  in  the  most  diverse  relationship  to  each 
other;  they  form  backgrounds  and  foregrounds, 
stipulations,  digressions,  illustrations,  demonstra 
tions,  and  protestations.  It  may  be  said  to  be  al 
most  the  rule  that  one  train  of  thought  is  'followed 
by  its  contradictory.  No  feature  known  to  our 
reason  whilst  awake  is  absent.  If  a  dream  is  to 
grow  out  of  all  this,  the  psychical  matter  is  sub 
mitted  to  a  pressure  which  condenses  it  extremely, 
to  an  inner  shrinking  and  displacement,  creating  at 
the  same  time  fresh  surfaces,  to  a  selective  inter- 


THE  DREAM  MECHANISM         41 

weaving  among  the  constituents  best  adapted  for 
the  construction  of  these  scenes.  Having  regard 
to  the  origin  of  this  stuff,  the  term  regression  can  be 
fairly  applied  to  this  process.  The  logical  chains 
\vhich  hitherto  held  the  psychical  stuff  together  be 
come  lost  in  this  transformation  to  the  dream  con 
tent.  The  dream  work  takes  on,  as  it  were,  only 
the  essential  content  of  the  dream  thoughts  for 
elaboration.  It  is  left  to  analysis  to  restore  the 
connection  which  the  dream  work  has  destroyed. 

The  dream's  means  of  expression  must  therefore 
be  regarded  as  meager  in  comparison  with  those  of 
our  imagination,  though  the  dream  does  not  re 
nounce  all  claims  to  the  restitution  of  logical  re 
lation  to  the  dream  thoughts.  It  rather  succeeds 
with  tolerable  frequency  in  replacing  these  by 
formal  characters  of  its  own. 

By  reason  of  the  undoubted  connection  existing 
between  all  the  parts  of  dream  thoughts,  the  dream 
is  able  to  embody  this  matter  into  a  single  scene.  It 
upholds  a  logical  connection  as  approximation  in 
time  and  space,,  just  as  the  painter,  who  groups  all 
the  poets  for  his  picture  of  Parnassus  who,  though 
they  have  never  been  all  together  on  a  mountain 
peak,  yet  form  ideally  a  community.  The  dream 
continues  this  method  of  presentation  in  individual 
dreams,  and  often  when  it  displays  two  elements 


42  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

close  together  in  the  dream  content  it  warrants 
some  special  inner  connection  between  what  they 
represent  in  the  dream  thoughts.  It  should  be, 
moreover,  observed  that  all  the  dreams  of  one  night 
prove  on  analysis  to  originate  from  the  same  sphere 
of  thought. 

The  causal  connection  between  two  ideas  is  either 
left  without  presentation,  or  replaced  by  two  differ 
ent  long  portions  of  dreams  one  after  the  other. 
This  presentation  is  frequently  a  reversed  one,  the 
beginning  of  the  dream  being  the  deduction,  and  its 
end  the  hypothesis.  Tlie  direct  transformation  of 
one  thing  into  another  in  the  dream  seems  to  serve 
the  relationship  of  cause  and  effect. 

The  dream  never  utters  the  alternating 
" eiiher-or  *'  but  accepts  both  as  having  equal  rights 
in  the  same  connection.  When  "either-or"  is  used 
in  the  reproduction  of  dreams,  it  is,  as  I  have  al 
ready  mentioned,  to  be  replaced  by  "and." 

Conceptions  which  stand  in  opposition  to  one  an 
other  are  preferably  expressed  in  dreams  by  the 
same  element.1  There  seems  no  "not"  in  dreams. 

i  It  is  worthy  of  remark  that  eminent  philologists  maintain  that 
the  oldest  languages  used  the  same  word  for  expressing  quite  general 
antitheses.  In  C.  Abel's  essay,  "Ueber  den  Gegensinn  der  Urworter" 
(1884,  the  following  examples  of  such  words  in  England  are  given: 
"gleam— gloom";  "to  lock— loch";  "down— The  Downs";  "to  step- 
to  stop."  In  his  essay  on  "The  Origin  of  Language"  ("Linguistic 
Essays,"  p.  240),  Abel  says:  "When  the  Englishman  says  'without,'  is 


THE  DREAM  MECHANISM         43 

Opposition  between  two  ideas,  the  relation  of  con 
version,  is  represented  in  dreams  in  a  very  remark 
able  way.  It  is  expressed  by  the  reversal  of  an 
other  part  of  the  dream  content  just  as  if  by  way 
of  appendix.  We  shall  later  on  deal  with  another 
form  of  expressing  disagreement.  The  common 
dream  sensation  of  movement  checked  serves  the 
purpose  of  representing  disagreement  of  impulses 
—a  conflict  of  the  mil. 

Only  one  of  the  logical  relationships — that  of 
similarity ,  identity,  agreement — is  found  highly  de 
veloped  in  the  mechanism  of  dream  formation. 
Dream  work  makes  use  of  these  cases  as  a  starting- 
point  for  condensation,  drawing  together  every 
thing  which  shows  such  agreement  to  .a  fresh  unity. 

These  short,  crude  observations  naturally  do  not 
suffice  as  an  estimate  of  the  abundance  of  the 
dream's  formal  means  of  presenting  the  logical  re 
lationships  of  the  dream  thoughts.  In  this  respect, 
individual  dreams  are  worked  up  more  nicely  or 
more  carelessly,  our  text  will  have  been  followed 
more  or  less  closely,  auxiliaries  of  the  dream  work 

not  his  judgment  based  upon  the  comparative  juxtaposition  of  two 
opposites,  'with'  and  'out';  'with'  itself  originally  meant  'without,' 
as  may  still  be  seen  in  'withdraw.'  'Bid'  includes  the  opposite  sense 
of  giving  and  of  proffering."  Abel,  "The  English  Verbs  of  Com 
mand,"  "Linguistic  Essays,"  p.  104;  see  also  Freud,  "Ueber  den 
Gegensinn  der  Urworte";  Jahrbuch  fur  Psychoanatytische  und  P»y- 
chopatholoyische  Forschungen,  Band  ii.,  part  L,  p.  179). — TRANSLATOR. 


44  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

will  have  been  taken  more  or  less  into  consideration. 
In  the  latter  case  they  appear  obscure,  intricate, 
incoherent.  When  the  dream  appears  openly  ab 
surd,  when  it  contains  an  obvious  paradox  in  its 
content,  it  is  so  of  purpose.  Through  its  apparent 
disregard  of  all  logical  claims,  it  expresses  a  part 
of  the  intellectual  content  of  the  dream  ideas.  Ab 
surdity  in  the  dream  denotes  disagreement,  scorn, 
disdain  in  the  dream  thoughts.  As  this  explanation 
is  in  entire  disagreement  with  the  view  that  the 
dream  owes  its  origin  to  dissociated,  uncritical  cere 
bral  activity,  I  will  emphasize  my  view  by  an  ex 
ample  : 

"One  of  my  acquaintances,  Mr.  M-  —,  has  been 
attacked  by  no  less  a  person  tlwn  Goethe  in  an  essay 
with,  we  all  maintain,  unwarrantable  violence. 
Mr.  M—  -  has  naturally  been  ruined  by  this  at- 
tack.  He  complains  very  bitterly  of  this  at  a  din 
ner-party,  but  his  respect  for  Goethe  has  not  dimin 
ished  through  this  personal  experience.  I  now  at 
tempt  to  clear  up  the  chronological  relations  which 
strike  me  as  improbable.  Goethe  died  in  1832. 
As  his  attack  upon  Mr.  M-  -  must,  of  course,  have 
taken  place  before,  Mr.  M—  -  must  have  been  then 
a  very  young  man.  It  seem$  to  me  plausible  that 
he  was  eighteen.  I  am  not  certain,  however,  what 
year  we  are  actually  in,  and  the  whole  calculation 


THE  DREAM  MECHANISM         45 

falls  into  obscurity.  The  attack  was,  moreover, 
contained  in  Goethe's  well-known  essay  on  'Na 
ture.'" 

The  absurdity  of  the  dream  becomes  the  more 
glaring  when  I  state  that  Mr.  M—  -  is  a  young 
business  man  without  any  poetical  or  literary  in 
terests.  My  analysis  of  the  dream  will  show  what 
method  there  is  in  this  madness.  The  dream  has 
derived  its  material  from  three  sources: 

1.  Mr.  M—   — ,  to  whom  I  was  introduced  at  a 
dinner-party,  begged  me  one  day  to  examine  his 
elder  brother,  who  showed  signs  of  mental  trouble. 
In  conversation  with  the  patient,  an  unpleasant 
episode  occurred.     Without  the  slightest  occasion 
he  disclosed  one  of  his  brother's  youthful  escapades. 
I  had  asked  the  patient  the  year  of  his  birth  {year 
of  death  in  dream) ,  and  led  him  to  various  calcula 
tions  which  might  show  up  his  want  of  memory. 

2.  A  medical  journal  which  displayed  my  name 
among  others  on  the  cover  had  published  a  ruinous 
review  of  a  book  by  my  friend  F-     -  of  Berlin, 
from  the  pen  of  a  very  juvenile  reviewer.     I  com 
municated  with  the  editor,  who,  indeed,  expressed 
his   regret,   but   would   not   promise   any  redress. 
Thereupon  I  broke  off  rny  connection  with  the  pa 
per;  in  my  letter  of  resignation  I  expressed  the 
hope  that  our  personal  relations  would  not  suffer 


46  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

from  this.  Here  is  the  real  source  of  the  dream. 
The  derogatory  reception  of  my  friend's  work  had 
made  a  deep  impression  upon  me.  In  my  judg 
ment,  it  contained  a  fundamental  biological  discov 
ery  which  only  now,  several  years  later,  commences 
to  find  favor  among  the  professors. 

3.  A  little  while  before,  a  patient  gave  me  the 
medical  history  of  her  brother,  who,  exclaiming 
ff Nature,  Nature!3'  had  gone  out  of  his  mind.  The 
doctors  considered  that  the  exclamation  arose  from 
a  study  of  Goethe's  beautiful  essay,  and  indicated 
that  the  patient  had  been  overworking.  I  ex 
pressed  the  opinion  that  it  seemed  more  plausible 
to  me  that  the  exclamation  "Nature!"  was  to  be 
taken  in  that  sexual  meaning  known  also  to  the  less 
educated  in  our  country.  It  seemed  to  me  that  this 
view  had  something  in  it,  because  the  unfortunate 
youth  afterwards  mutilated  his  genital  organs. 
The  patient  was  eighteen  years  old  when  the  attack 
occurred. 

The  first  person  in  the  dream-thoughts  behind  the 
ego  was  my  friend  who  had  been  so  scandalously 
treated.  "I  now  attempted  to  clear  up  the  chrono 
logical  relation."  My  friend's  book  deals  with  the 
chronological  relations  of  life,  and,  amongst  other 
things,  correlates  Goethe's  duration  of  life  with  a 
number  of  days  in  many  ways  important  to  biology. 


THE  DREAM  MECHANISM         47 

The  ego  is,  however,  represented  as  a  general  para 
lytic  ("I  am  not  certain  what  year  we  are  actually 
in").  The  dream  exhibits  my  friend  as  behaving 
like  a  general  paralytic,  and  thus  riots  in  absurdity. 
But  the  dream  thoughts  run  ironically.  "Of  course 
he  is  a  madman,  a  fool,  and  you  are  the  genius  who 
understands  all  about  it.  But  shouldn't  it  be  the 
other  way  round?"  This  inversion  obviously  took 
place  in  the  dream  when  Goethe  attacked  the  young 
man,  which  is  absurd,  whilst  any  one,  however 
young,  can  to-day  easily  attack  the  great  Goethe. 

I  am  prepared  to  maintain  that  no  dream  is  in 
spired  by  other  than  egoistic  emotions.  The  ego  in 
the  dream  does  not,  indeed,  represent  only  my 
friend,  but  stands  for  myself  also.  I  identify  my 
self  with  him  because  the  fate  of  his  discovery  ap 
pears  to  me  typical  of -the  acceptance  of  my  own. 
If  I  were  to  publish  my  own  theory,  which  gives 
sexuality  predominance  in  the  setiology  of  psycho- 
neurotic  disorders  (see  the  allusion  to  the  eighteen- 
year-old  patient — "Nature,  Nature!"),  the  same 
criticism  would  be  leveled  at  me,  and  it  would  even 
now  meet  with  the  same  contempt. 

When  I  follow  out  the  dream  thoughts  closely,  I 
ever  find  only  scorn  and  contempt  as  correlated  with 
the  dreamfs  absurdity.  It  is  well  known  that  the 
discovery  of  a  cracked  sheep's  skull  on  the  Lido  in 


48  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

Venice  gave  Goethe  the  hint  for  the  so-called  ver 
tebral  theory  of  the  skull.  My  friend  plumes  him 
self  on  having  as  a  student  raised  a  hubbub  for  the 
resignation  of  an  aged  professor  who  had  done  good 
work  (including  some  in  this  very  subject  of  com 
parative  anatomy),  but  who,  on  account  of  decrepi 
tude,  had  become  quite  incapable  of  teaching.  The 
agitation  my  friend  inspired  was  so  successful  be 
cause  in  the  German  Universities  an  age  limit  is  not 
demanded  for  academic  work.  Age  is  no  protec 
tion  against  folly.  In  the  hospital  here  I  had  for 
years  the  honor  to  serve  under  a  chief  who,  long 
fossilized,  was  for  decades  notoriously  feeble 
minded,  and  was  yet  permitted  to  continue  in  his 
responsible  office.  A  trait,  after  the  manner  of  the 
find  in  the  Lido,  forces  itself  upon  me  here.  It  was 
to  this  man  that  some  youthful  colleagues  in  the 
h'ospital  adapted  the  then  popular  slang  of  that  day : 
"No  Goethe  has  written  that,"  "No  Schiller  com 
posed  that,"  etc. 

We  have  not  exhausted  our  valuation  of  the 
dream  work.  In  addition  to  condensation,  dis 
placement,  and  definite  arrangement  of  the  psychi 
cal  matter,  we  must  ascribe  to  it  yet  another  activity 
— one  which  is,  indeed,  not  shared  by  every  dream. 
I  shall  not  treat  this  position  of  the  dream  work  ex 
haustively;  I  will  only  point  out  that  the  readies** 


THE  DREAM  MECHANISM         49 

way  to  arrive  at  a  conception  of  it  is  to  take  for 
granted,  probably  unfairly,  that  it  only  subse 
quently  influences  the  dream  content  which  has  al 
ready  been  built  up.  Its  mode  of  action  thus  con 
sists  in  so  coordinating  the  parts  of  the  dream  that 
these  coalesce  to  a  coherent  whole,  to  a  dream  com 
position.  The  dream  gets  a  kind  of  facade  which, 
it  is  true,  does  not  conceal  the  whole  of  its  content. 
There  is  a  sort  of  preliminary  explanation  to  be 
strengthened  by  interpolations  and  slight  altera 
tions.  Such  elaboration  of  the  dream  content  must 
not  be  too  pronounced;  the  misconception  of  the 
dream  thoughts  to  which  it  gives  rise  is  merely  su 
perficial,  and  our  first  piece  of  work  in  analyzing 
a  dream  is  to  get  rid  of  these  early  attempts  at  in 
terpretation. 

The  motives  for  this  part  of  the  dream  work  are 
easily  gauged.  This  final  elaboration  of  the  dream 
is  due  to  a  regard  for  intelligibility — a  fact  at  once 
betraying  the  origin  of  an  action  which  behaves  to 
wards  the  actual  dream  content  just  as  our  normal 
psychical  action  behaves  towards  some  proffered 
perception  that  is  to  our  liking.  The  dream  con 
tent  is  thus  secured  under  the  pretense  of  certain 
expectations,  is  perceptually  classified  by  the  sup 
position  of  its  intelligibility,  thereby  risking  its 
falsification,  whilst,  in  fact,  the  most  extraordinary 


50  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

misconceptions  arise  if  the  dream  can  be  correlated 
with  nothing  familiar.  Every  one  is  aware  that  we 
are  unable  to  look  at  any  series  of  unfamiliar  signs, 
or  to  listen  to  a  discussion  of  unknown  words,  with 
out  at  once  making  perpetual  changes  through  our 
regard  for  intelligibility,  through  our  falling  back 
upon  what  is  familiar. 

We  can  call  those  dreams  properly  made  up 
which  are  the  result  of  an  elaboration  in  every  way 
analogous  to  the  psychical  action  of  our  waking  life. 
In  other  dreams  there  is  no  such  action ;  not  even  an 
attempt  is  made  to  bring  about  order  and  meaning. 
We  regard  the  dream  as  "quite  mad,"  because  on 
awaking  it  is  with  this  last-named  part  of  the  dream 
work,  the  dream  elaboration,  that  we  identify  our 
selves.  So  far,  however,  as  our  analysis  is  con 
cerned,  the  dream,  which  resembles  a  medley  of  dis 
connected  fragments,  is  of  as  much  value  as  the  one 
with  a  smooth  and  beautifully  polished  surface.  In 
the  former  case  we  are  spared,  to  some  extent,  the 
trouble  of  breaking  down  the  super-elaboration  of 
the  dream  content. 

All  the  same,  it  would  be  an  error  to  see  in  the 
dream  facade  nothing  but  the  misunderstood  and 
somewhat  arbitrary  elaboration  of  the  dream  car 
ried  out  at  the  instance  of  our  psychical  life. 
Wishes  and  phantasies  are  not  infrequently  em- 


THE  DREAM  MECHANISM          51 

ployed  in  the  erection  of  this  facade,  which  were 
already  fashioned  in  the  dream  thoughts;  they  are 
akin  to  those  of  our  waking  life — "day-dreams,"  as 
they  are  very  properly  called.  These  wishes  and 
phantasies,  which  analysis  discloses  in  our  dreams 
at  night,  often  present  themselves  as  repetitions 
and  refashionings  of  the  scenes  of  infancy.  Thus 
the  dream  facade  may  show  us  directly  the  true  core 
of  the  dream,  distorted  through  admixture  with 
other  matter. 

Beyond  these  four  activities  there  is  nothing  else 
to  be  discovered  in  the  dream  work.  If  we  keep 
closely  to  the  definition  that  dream  work  denotes 
the  transference  of  dream  thoughts  to  dream  con 
tent,  we  are  compelled  to  say  that  the  dream  work 
is  not  creative;  it  develops  no  fancies  of  its  own,  it 
judges  nothing,  decides  nothing.  It  does  nothing 
but  prepare  the  matter  for  condensation  and  dis 
placement,  and  refashions  it  for  dramatization,  to 
which  must  be  added  the  inconstant  last-named 
mechanism — that  of  explanatory  elaboration.  It 
is  true  that  a  good  deal  is  found  in  the  dream  con 
tent  which  might  be  understood  as  the  result  of  an 
other  and  more  intellectual  performance;  but  an 
alysis  shows  conclusively  every  time  that  these  in 
tellectual  operations  were  already  present  in  the 
dream  thoughts,  and  have  only  been  taken  over  by 


52  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

the  dream  content.  A  syllogism  in  the  dream  is 
nothing  other  than  the  repetition  of  a  syllogism  in 
the  dream  thoughts;  it  seems  inoffensive  if  it  has 
been  transferred  to  the  dream  without  alteration;  it 
becomes  a-bsurd  if  in  the  dream  work  it  has  been 
transferred  to  other  matter.  A  calculation  in  the 
dream  content  simply  means  that  there  was  a  cal 
culation  in  the  dream  thoughts ;  whilst  this  is  always 
correct,  the  calculation  in  the  dream  can  furnish  the 
silliest  results  by  the  condensation  of  its  factors  and 
the  displacement  of  the  same  operations  to  other 
things.  Even  speeches  which  are  found  in  the 
dream  content  are  not  new  compositions ;  they  prove 
to  be  pieced  together  out  of  speeches  which  have 
been  made  or  heard  or  read;  the  words  are  faith 
fully  copied,  but  the  occasion  of  their  utterance  is 
quite  overlooked,  and  their  meaning  is  most  vio 
lently  changed. 

It  is,  perhaps,  not  superfluous  to  support  these 
assertions  by  examples : 

1.  A  seemingly  inoffensive,  well-made  dream  of 
a  patient.  She  was  going  to  market  with  her  cook, 
who  carried  the  basket.  The  butcher  said  to  her 
when  she  asked  him  for  something:  "That  is  all 
gone''  and  wished  to  give  her  something  else,  re 
marking  :  " That's  very  good."  She  declines,  and 
goes  to  the  greengrocer,  who  wants  to  sell  her  a 


THE  DREAM  MECHANISM         53 

peculiar  vegetable  which  is  bound  up  in  bundle's  and 
of  a  black  color.  She  says:  "I  don't  know  that;  I 
won't  take  it!9 

The  remark  "That  is  all  gone"  arose  from  the 
treatment.  A  few  days  before  I  said  myself  to  the 
patient  that  the  earliest  reminiscences  of  childhood 
are  all  gone  as  such,  but  are  replaced  by  transfer 
ences  and  dreams.  Thus  I  am  the  butcher. 

The  second  remark,  ffl  don't  know  that"  arose 
in  a  very  different  connection.  The  day  before  she 
had  herself  called  out  in  rebuke  to  the  cook  (who, 
moreover,  also  appears  in  the  dream)  :  (< Behave 
yourself  properly;  I  don't  know  that3 *— that  is,  "I 
don't  know  this  kind  of  behavior;  I  won't  have  it." 
The  more  harmless  portion  of  this  speech  was  ar 
rived  at  by  a  displacement  of  the  dream  content ;  in 
the  dream  thoughts  only  the  other  portion  of  the 
speech  played  a  part,  because  the  dream  work 
changed  an  imaginary  situation  into  utter  irrecog- 
nizability  and  complete  inoffensiveness  (while  in 
a  certain  sense  I  behave  in  an  unseemly  way  to  the 
lady) .  The  situation  resulting  in  this  phantasy  is, 
however,  nothing  but  a  new  edition  of  one  that 
actually  took  place. 

2.  A  dream  apparently  meaningless  relates  to 
figures.  "She  wants  to  pay  something;  her  daugh 
ter  takes  three  florins  sixty-five  kreuzers  out  of  her 


54  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

purse;  but  she  says:  'What  are  you  doing?  It 
only  cost  twenty-one  kreuzers' 3 

The  dreamer  was  a  stranger  who  had  placed  her 
child  at  school  in  Vienna,  and  who  was  able  to  con 
tinue  under  my  treatment  so  long  as  her  daughter 
remained  at  Vienna.  The  day  before  the  dream 
the  directress  of  the  school  had  recommended  her 
to  keep  the  child  another  year  at  school.  In  this 
case  she  would  have  been  able  to  prolong  her  treat 
ment  by  one  year.  The  figures  in  the  dream  be 
come  important  if  it  be  remembered  that  time  is 
money.  One  year  equals  365  days,  or,  expressed 
in  kreuzers,  3(>5  kreuzers,  which  is  three  florins 
sixty-five  kreuzers.  The  twenty-one  kreuzers  cor 
respond  with  the  three  weeks  which  remained  from 
the  day  of  the  dream  to  the  end  of  the  school  term, 
and  thus  to  the  end  of  the  treatment.  It  was  ob 
viously  financial  considerations  which  had  moved 
the  lady  to  refuse  the  proposal  of  the  directress, 
and  which  were  answerable  for  the  triviality  of  the 
amount  in  the  dream. 

3.  A  lady,  young,  but  already  ten  years  married, 

heard  that  a  friend  of  hers,  Miss  Elise  L ,  of 

about  the  same  age,  had  become  engaged.  This 
gave  rise  to  the  following  dream: 

She  was  sitting  with  her  husband  in  the  theater; 
the  one  side  of  the  stalls  was  quite  empty.  Her 


THE  DREAM  MECHANISM          55 

husband  tells  her,  Elise  L—  -  and  her  fiance  had 
intended  coming,  but  could  only  get  some  cheap 
seats,  three  for  one  florin  fifty  kreuzers,  and  these 
they  would  not  take.  In  her  opinion,  that  woulU 
not  have  mattered  very  much. 

The  origin  of  the  figures  from  the  matter  of  the 
dream  thoughts  and  the  changes  the  figures  under 
went  are  of  interest.  Whence  came  the  one  florin 
fifty  kreuzers?  From  a  trifling  occurrence  of  the 
previous  day.  Her  sister-in-law  had  received  150 
florins  as  a  present  from  her  husband,  and  had 
quickly  got  rid  of  it  by  buying  some  ornament. 
Note  that  150  florins  is  one  hundred  times  one  florin 
fifty  kreuzers.  For  the  three  concerned  with  the 

tickets,  the  only  link  is  that  Elise  L is  exactly 

three  months  younger  than  the  dreamer.  The 
scene  in  the  dream  is  the  repetition  of  a  little  ad 
venture  for  which  she  has  often  been  teased  by  her 
husband.  She  was  once  in  a  great  hurry  to  get 
tickets  in  time  for  a  piece,  and  when  she  came  to  the 
theater  one  side  of  the  stalls  was  almost  empty. 
It  was  therefore  quite  unnecessary  for  her  to  have 
been  in  such  a  hurry.  Nor  must  we  overlook  the 
absurdity  of  the  dream  that  two  persons  should  take 
three  tickets  for  the  theater. 

Now  for  the  dream  ideas.  It  was  stupid  to  have 
married  so  early ;  I  need  not  have  been  in  so  great  a 


56  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

hurry.  Elise  L—  -'s  example  shows  me  that  I 
should  have  been  able  to  get  a  husband  later ;  indeed, 
one  a  hundred  times  better  if  I  had  but  waited.  I 
could  have  bought  three  such  men  with  the  money 
(dowry). 


Ill 

WHY   THE  DREAM   DISGUISES   THE  DESIRES 

IN  the  foregoing  exposition  we  have  now  learnt 
something  of  the  dream  work;  we  must  regard  it  as 
a  quite  special  psychical  process,  which,  so  far  as 
we  are  aware,  resembles  nothing  else.  To  the 
dream  work  has  been  transferred  that  bewilderment 
which  its  product,  the  dream,  has  aroused  in  us. 
In  truth,  the  dream  work  is  only  the  first  recogni 
tion  of  a  group  of  psychical  processes  to  which  must 
be  referred  the  origin  of  hysterical  symptoms,  the 
ideas  of  morbid  dread,  obsession,  and  illusion. 
Condensation,  and  especially  displacement,  are 
never-failing  features  in  these  other  processes. 
The  regard  for  appearance  remains,  on  the  other 
hand,  peculiar  to  the  dream  work.  If  this  explana 
tion  brings  the  dream  into  line  with  the  formation 
of  psychical  disease,  it  becomes  the  more  important 
to  fathom  the  essential  conditions  of  processes  like 
dream  building.  It  will  be  probably  a  surprise  to 
hear  that  neither  the  state  of  sleep  nor  illness  is 
among  the  indispensable  conditions.  A  whole 
number  of  phenomena  of  the  everyday  life  of 

57 


58  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

healthy  persons,  forgetfulness,  slips  in  speaking 
and  in  holding  things,  together  with  a  certain  class 
of  mistakes,  are  due  to  a  psychical  mechanism  an 
alogous  to  that  of  the  dream  and  the  other  mem 
bers  of  this  group. 

Displacement  is  the  core  of  the  problem,  and  the 
most  striking  of  all  the  dream  performances.  A 
thorough  investigation  of  the  subject  shows  that  the 
essential  condition  of  displacement  is  purely  psy 
chological  ;  it  is  in  the  nature  of  a  motive.  We  get 
on  the  track  by  thrashing  out  experiences  which  one 
cannot  avoid  in  the  analysis  of  dreams.  I  had  to 
break  off  the  relations  of  my  dream  thoughts  in  the 
analysis  of  my  dream  on  p.  8  because  I  found  some 
experiences  which  I  do  not  wish  strangers  to  know, 
and  which  I  could  not  relate  without  serious  damage 
to  important  considerations.  I  added,  it  would  be 
no  use  were  I  to  select  another  instead  of  that  par 
ticular  dream;  in  every  dream  where  the  content  is 
obscure  or  intricate,  I  should  hit  upon  dream 
thoughts  which  call  for  secrecy.  If,  however,  I  con 
tinue  the  analysis  for  myself,  without  regard  to 
those  others,  for  whom,  indeed,  so  personal  an  event 
as  my  dream  cannot  matter,  I  arrive  finally  at  ideas 
which  surprise  me,  which  I  have  not  known  to  be 
mine,  which  not  only  appear  foreign  to  me,  but 
which  are  unpleasant,  and  which  I  would  like  to 


DREAM  DISGUISES  DESIRES       59 

oppose  vehemently,  whilst  the  chain  of  ideas  run 
ning  through  the  analysis  intrudes  upon  me  inex 
orably.  I  can  only  take  these  circumstances  into 
account  by  admitting  that  these  thoughts  are  actu 
ally  part  of  my  psychical  life,  possessing  a  certain 
psychical  intensity  or  energy.  However,  by  vir 
tue  of  a  particular  psychological  condition,  the 
thoughts  could  not  become  conscious  to  me.  I  call 
this  particular  condition  "Repression"  It  is  there 
fore  impossible  for  me  not  to  recognize  some  casual 
relationship  between  the  obscurity  of  the  dream  con 
tent  and  this  state  of  repression — this  incapacity  of 
consciousness.  Whence  I  conclude  that  the  cause 
of  the  obscurity  is  the  desire  to  conceal  these 
thoughts.  Thus  I  arrive  at  the  conception  of  the 
dream  distortion  as  the  deed  of  the  dream  work, 
and  of  displacement  serving  to  disguise  this  object. 
I  will  test  this  in  my  own  dream,  and  ask  myself, 
What  is  the  thought  which,  quite  innocuous  in  its 
distorted  form,  provokes  my  liveliest  opposition  in 
its  real  form?  I  remember  that  the  free  drive  re 
minded  me  of  the  last  expensive  drive  with  a  mem 
ber  of  my  family,  the  interpretation  of  the  dream 
being:  I  should  for  once  like  to  experience  affec 
tion  for  which  I  should  not  have  to  pay,  and  that 
shortly  before  the  dream  I  had  to  make  a  heavy 
disbursement  for  this  very  person.  In  this  connec- 


60  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

tion,  I  cannot  get  away  from  the  thought  that  I  re 
gret  this  disbursement.  It  is  only  when  I  acknowl 
edge  this  feeling  that  there  is  any  sense  in  my  wish 
ing  in  the  dream  for  an  affection  that  should  entail 
no  outlay.  And  yet  I  can  state  on  my  honor  that 
I  did  not  hesitate  for  a  moment  when  it  became  nec 
essary  to  expend  that  sum.  The  regret,  the  coun 
ter-current,  was  unconscious  to  me.  Why  it  was 
unconscious  is  quite  another  question  which  would 
lead  us  far  away  from  the  answer  which,  though 
within  my  knowledge,  belongs  elsewhere. 

If  I  subject  the  dream  of  another  person  instead 
of  one  of  my  own  to  analysis,  the  result  is  the  same ; 
the  motives  for  convincing  others  is,  however, 
changed.  In  the  dream  of  a  healthy  person  the 
only  way  for  me  to  enable  him  to  accept  this  re 
pressed  idea  is  the  coherence  of  the  dream  thoughts. 
He  is  at  liberty  to  reject  this  explanation.  But  if 
we  are  dealing  with  a  person  suffering  from  any 
neurosis — say  from  hysteria — the  recognition  of 
these  repressed  ideas  is  compulsory  by  reason  of 
their  connection  with  the  symptoms  of  his  illness 
and  of  the  improvement  resulting  from  exchanging 
the  symptoms  for  the  repressed  ideas.  Take  the 
patient  from  whom  I  got  the  last  dream  about  the 
three  tickets  for  one  florin  fifty  kreuzers.  Analysis 
shows  that  she  does  not  think  highly  of  her  husband, 


DREAM  DISGUISES  DESIRES      61 

that  she  regrets  having  married  him,  that  she  would 
be  glad  to  change  him  for  some  one  else.  It  is  true 
that  she  maintains  that  she  loves  her  husbandy  that 
her  emotional  life  knows  nothing  about  this  depre 
ciation  (a  hundred  times  better!) ,  but  all  her  symp 
toms  lead  to  the  same  conclusion  as  this  dream. 
When  her  repressed  memories  had  rewakened  a 
certain  period  when  she  was  conscious  that  she  did 
not  love  her  husband,  her  symptoms  disappeared, 
and  therewith  disappeared  her  resistance  to  the  in 
terpretation  of  the  dream. 

This  conception  of  repression  once  fixed,  together 
with  the  distortion  of  the  dream  in  relation  to  re 
pressed  psychical  matter,  we  are  in  a  position  to 
give  a  general  exposition  of  the  principal  results 
which  the  analysis  of  dreams  supplies.  We  learnt 
that  the  most  intelligible  and  meaningful  dreams 
are  unrealized  desires;  the  desires  they  pictured  as 
realized  are  known  to  consciousness,  have  been  held 
over  from  the  daytime,  and  are  of  absorbing  inter 
est.  The  analysis  of  obscure  and  intricate  dreams 
discloses  something  very  similar;  the  dream  scene 
again  pictures  as  realized  some  desire  which  regu 
larly  proceeds  from  the  dream  ideas,  but  the  pic 
ture  is  unrecognizable,  and  is  only  cleared  up  in  the 
analysis.  The  desire  itself  is  either  one  repressed, 
foreign  to  consciousness,  or  it  is  closely  bound  up 


62  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

with  repressed  ideas.  The  formula  for  these 
dreams  may  be  thus  stated:  They  are  concealed 
realizations  of  repressed  desires.  It  is  interesting 
to  note  that  they  are  right  who  regard  the  dream  as 
foretelling  the  future.  Although  the  future  which 
the  dream  shows  us  is  not  that  which  will  occur,  but 
that  which  we  would  like  to  occur.  Folk  psychol 
ogy  proceeds  here  according  to  its  wont ;  it  believes 
what  it  wishes  to  believe. 

Dreams  can  be  divided  into  three  classes  accord 
ing  to  their  relation  towards  the  realization  of  de 
sire.  Firstly  come  those  which  exhibit  a  non-re 
pressed,  non-concealed  desire;  these  are  dreams  of 
the  infantile  type,  becoming  ever  rarer  among 
adults.  Secondly,  dreams  which  express  in  veiled 
form  some  repressed  desire;  these  constitute  by  far 
the  larger  number  of  our  dreams,  and  they  require 
analysis  for  their  understanding.  Thirdly,  these 
dreams  where  repression  exists,  but  without  or  with 
but  slight  concealment.  These  dreams  are  invaria 
bly  accompanied  by  a  feeling  of  dread  which  brings 
the  dream  to  an  end.  This  feeling  of  dread  here 
replaces  dream  displacement ;  I  regarded  the  dream 
work  as  having  prevented  this  in  the  dream  of  the 
second  class.  It  is  not  very  difficult  to  prove  that 
what  is  now  present  as  intense  dread  in  the  dream 


DREAM  DISGUISES  DESIRES      63 

was  once  desire,  and  is  now  secondary  to  the  repres 
sion. 

There  are  also  definite  dreams  with  a  painful  con 
tent,  without  the  presence  of  any  anxiety  in  the 
dream.  These  cannot  be  reckoned  among  dreams 
of  dread;  they  have,  however,  always  been  used  to 
prove  the  unimportance  and  the  psychical  futility 
of  dreams.  An  analysis  of  such  an  example  will 
show  that  it  belongs  to  our  second  class  of  dreams 
— a  perfectly  concealed  realization  of  repressed  de 
sires.  Analysis  will  demonstrate  at  the  same  time 
how  excellently  adapted  is  the  work  of  displacement 
to  the  concealment  of  desires. 

A  girl  dreamt  that  she  saw  lying  dead  before  her 
the  only  surviving  child  of  her  sister  amid  the  same 
surroundings  as  a  few  years  before  she  saw  the  first 
child  lying  dead.  She  was  not  sensible  of  any  pain, 
but  naturally  combatted  the  view  that  the  scene  rep 
resented  a  desire  of  hers.  Nor  was  that  view  nec 
essary.  Years  ago.it  was  at  the  funeral  of  the  child 
that  she  had  last  seen  and  spoken  to  the  man  she 
loved.  Were  the  second  child  to  die,  she  would  be 
sure  to  meet  this  man  again  in  her  sister's  house. 
She  is  longing  to  meet  him,  but  struggles  against 
this  feeling.  The  day  of  the  dream  she  had  taken  a 
ticket  for  a  lecture,  which  announced  the  presence 


64  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

of  the  man  she  always  loved.  The  dream  is  simply 
a  dream  of  impatience  common  to  those  which  hap 
pen  before  a  journey,  theater,  or  simply  anticipated 
pleasures.  The  longing  is  concealed  by  the  shifting 
of  the"  scene  to  the  occasion  when  any  joyous  feeling 
were  out  of  place,  and  yet  where  it  did  once  exist. 
Note,  further,  that  the  emotional  behavior  in  the 
dream  is  adapted,  not  to  the  displaced,  but  to  the 
real  but  suppressed  dream  ideas.  The  scene  an 
ticipates  the  long-hoped-for  meeting;  there  is  here 
no  call  for  painful  emotions. 

There  has  hitherto  been  no  occasion  for  philoso 
phers  to  bestir  themselves  with  a  psychology  of  re 
pression.  We  must  be  allowed  to  construct  some 
clear  conception  as  to  the  origin  of  dreams  as  the 
first  steps  in  this  unknown  territory.  The  scheme 
which  we  have  formulated  not  only  from  a  study  of 
dreams  is,  it  is  true,  already  somewhat  complicated, 
but  we  cannot  find  any  simpler  one  that  will  suffice. 
We  hold  that  our  psychical  apparatus  contains  two 
procedures  for  the  construction  of  thoughts.  The 
second  one  has  the  advantage  that  its  products  find 
an  open  path  to  consciousness,  whilst  the  activity 
of  the  first  procedure  is  unknown  to  itself,  and  can 
only  arrive  at  consciousness  through  the  second  one. 
At  the  borderland  of  these  two  procedures,  where 
first  passes  over  into  the  second,  a  censorship 


DREAM  DISGUISES  DESIRES       65 

is  established  which  only  passes  what  pleases  it, 
keeping  back  everything  else.  That  which  is  re 
jected  by  the  censorship  is,  according  to  our  defini 
tion,  in  a  state  of  repression.  Under  certain  con 
ditions,  one  of  which  is  the  sleeping  state,  the  bal 
ance  of  power  between  the  two  procedures  is  so 
changed  that  what  is  repressed  can  no  longer  be 
kept  back.  In  the  sleeping  state  this  may  possibly 
occur  through  the  negligence  of  the  censor;  what 
has  been  hitherto  repressed  will  now  succeed  in 
finding  its  way  to  consciousness.  But  as  the  cen 
sorship  is  never  absent,  but  merely  off  guard,  cer 
tain  alterations  must  be  conceded  so  as  to  placate 
it.  It  is  a  compromise  which  becomes  conscious  in 
this  case — a  compromise  between  what  one  pro 
cedure  has  in  view  and  the  demands  of  the  other. 
Repression,  laocity  of  the  censor,  compromise — this 
is  the  foundation  for  the  origin  of  many  another 
psychological  process,  just  as  it  is  for  the  dream. 
In  such  compromises  we  can  observe  the  processes 
of  condensation,  of  displacement,  the  acceptance  of 
superficial  associations,  which  we  have  found  in  the 
dream  work. 

It  is  not  for  us  to  deny  the  demonic  element 
which  has  played  a  part  in  constructing  our  ex 
planation  of  dream  work.  The  impression  left  is 
that  the  formation  of  obscure  dreams  proceeds  as 


66  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

if  a  person  had  something  to  say  which  must  be  dis 
agreeable  for  another  person  upon  whom  he  is  de 
pendent  to  hear.  J[t_is  bj  the  use  of  this  image 
that  we  figure  to  ourselves  the  conception  of  the 
dream  distortion  and  of  the  censorship,  and  ven 
tured  to  crystallize  our  impression  in  a  rather  crude, 
but  at  least  definite,  psychological  theory.  What 
ever  explanation  the  future  may  off er  of  these  first 
and  second  procedures,  we  shall  expect  a  confirma 
tion  of  our  correlate  that  the  second  procedure  com 
mands  the  entrance  to  consciousness,  and  can  ex 
clude  the  first  from  consciousness. 

Once  the  sleeping  state  overcome,  the  censorship 
resumes  complete  sway,  and  is  now  able  to  revoke 
that  which  was  granted  in  a  moment  of  weakness. 
That  the  forgetting  of  dreams  explains  this  in  part, 
at  least,  we  are  convinced  by  our  experience,  con 
firmed  again  and  again.  During  the  relation  of  a 
dream,  or  during  analysis  of  one,  it  not  infrequently 
happens  that  some  fragment  of  the  dream  is  sud 
denly  forgotten.  This  fragment  so  forgotten  in 
variably  contains  the  best  and  readiest  approach  to 
an  understanding  of  the  dream.  Probably  that  is 
why  it  sinks  into  oblivion — i.e.,  into  a  renewed  sup 
pression. 

Viewing  the  dream  content  as  the  representation 
of  a  realized  desire,  and  referring  its  vagueness  to 


DREAM  DISGUISES  DESIRES       67 

the  changes  made  by  the  censor  in  the  repressed 
matter,  it  is  no  longer  difficult  to  grasp  the  func 
tion  of  dreams.  In  fundamental  contrast  with 
those  saws  which  assume  chat  sleep  is  disturbed  by 
dreams,  we  hold  the  dream  as  the  guardian  of  sleep. 
So  far  as  children's  dreams  are  concerned,  our  view 
should  find  ready  acceptance. 

The  sleeping  state  or  the  psychical  change  to 
sleep,  whatsoever  it  be,  is  brought  about  by  the 
child  being  sent  to  sleep  or  compelled  thereto  by 
fatigue,  only  assisted  by  the  removal  of  all  stimuli 
which  might  open  other  objects  to  the  psychical  ap 
paratus.  The  means  which  serve  to  keep  external 
stimuli  distant  are  known;  but  what  are  the  means 
we  can  employ  to  depress  the  internal  psychical 
stimuli  which  frustrate  sleep?  Look  at  a  mother 
getting  her  child  to  sleep.  The  child  is  full  of  be 
seeching;  he  wants  another  kiss;  he  wants  to  play 
yet  awhile.  His  requirements  are  in  part  met,  in 
part  drastically  put  off  till  the  following  day. 
Clearly  these  desires  and  needs,  which  agitate  him, 
are  hindrances  to  sleep.  Every  one  knows  the 
charming  story  of  the  bad  boy  (Baldwin  Groller's) 
who  awoke  at  night  bellowing  out,  "I  want  the 
rhinoceros."  A  really  good  boy,  instead  of  bellow 
ing,  would  have  dreamt  that  he  was  playing  with 
the  rhinoceros.  Because  the  dream  which  realizes 


68  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

his  desire  is  believed  during  sleep,  it  removes  the  de 
sire  and  makes  sleep  possible.  It  cannot  be  denied 
that  this  belief  accords  with  the  dream  image,  be 
cause  it  is  arrayed  in  the  psychical  appearance  of 
probability;  the  child  is  without  the  capacity  which 
it  will  acquire  later  to  distinguish  hallucinations  or 
phantasies  from  reality. 

The  adult  has  learnt  this  diff erentktion ;  he  has 
also  learnt  the  futility  of  desire,  and  by  continuous 
practice  manages  to  postpone  his  aspirations, 
until  they  can  be  granted  in  some  roundabout 
method  by  a  change  in  the  external  world.  For 
this  reason  it  is  rare  for  him  to  have  his  wishes 
realized  during  sleep  in  the  short  psychical  way. 
It  is  even  possible  that  this  never  happens,  and  that 
everything  which  appears  to  us  like  a  child's  dream 
demands  a  much  more  elaborate  explanation. 
Thus  it  is  that  for  adults — for  every  sane  person 
without  exception — a  differentiation  of  the  psy 
chical  matter  has  been  fashioned  which  the  child 
knew  not.  A  psychical  procedure  has  been  reached 
which,  informed  by  the  experience  of  life,  exercises 
with  jealous  power  a  dominating  and  restraining 
influence  upon  psychical  emotions;  by  its  relation 
to  consciousness,  and  by  its  spontaneous  mobility, 
it  is  endowed  with  the  greatest  means  of  psychical 
power.  A  portion  of  the  infantile  emotions  has 


DREAM  DISGUISES  DESIRES       69 

been  withheld  from 'this  procedure  as  useless  to  life, 
and  all  the  thoughts  which  flow  from  these  are 
found  in  the  state  of  repression. 

Whilst  the  procedure  in  which  we  recognize  our 
normal  ego  reposes  upon  the  desire  for  sleep,  it  ap 
pears  compelled  by  the  psycho-physiological  con 
ditions  of  sleep  to  abandon  some  of  tire  energy  with 
which  it  was  wont  during  the  day  to  keep  down 
what  was  repressed.  This  neglect  is  really  harm 
less  ;  however  much  the  emotions  of  the  child's  spirit 
may  be  stirred,  they  find  the  approach  to  conscious 
ness  rendered  difficult,  and  that  to  movement 
blocked  in  consequence  of  the  state  of  sleep.  The 
danger  of  their  disturbing  sleep  must,  however,  be 
avoided.  Moreover,  we  must  admit  that  even  in 
deep  sleep  some  amount  of  free  attention  is  exerted 
as  a  protection  against  sense-stimuli  which  might, 
perchance,  make  an  awakening  seem  wiser  than  the 
continuance  of  sleep.  Otherwise  we  could  not  ex 
plain  the  fact  of  our  being  always  awakened  by 
stimuli  of  certain  quality.  As  the  old  physiologist 
Burdach  pointed  out,  the  mother  is  awakened  by 
the  whimpering  of  her  child,  the  miller  by  the  cessa 
tion  of  his  mill,  most  people  by  gently  calling  out 
their  names.  This  attention,  thus  on  the  alert, 
makes  use  of  the  internal  stimuli  arising  from  re 
pressed  desires,  and  fuses  them  into  the  dream, 


70  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

which  as  a  compromise  satisfies  both  procedures  at 
the  same  time.  The  dream  creates  a  form  of  psy 
chical  release  for  the  wish  which  is  either  suppressed 
or  formed  by  the  aid  of  repression,  inasmuch  as  it 
presents  it  as  realized.  The  other  procedure  is  also 
satisfied,  since  the  continuance  of  the  sleep  is  as 
sured.  Our  ego  here  gladly  behaves  like  a  child; 
it  makes  the  dream  pictures  believable,  saying,  as  it 
were,  "Quite  right,  but  let  me  sleep."  The  con 
tempt  which,  once  awakened,  we  bear  the  dream, 
and  which  rests  upon  the  absurdity  and  apparent 
illogicality  of  the  dream,  is  probably  nothing  but 
the  reasoning  of  our  sleeping  ego  on  the  feelings 
about  what  was  repressed;  with  greater  right  it 
should  rest  upon  the  incompetency  of  this  dis 
turber  of  our  sleep.  In  sleep  we  are  now  and  then 
aware  of  ]this  contempt;  the  dream  content  trans 
cends  the  censorship  rather  too  much,  we  think, 
"It's  only  a  dream,"  and  sleep  on. 

It  is  no  objection  to  this  view  if  there  are  border 
lines  for  the  dream  where  its  function,  to  preserve 
sleep  from  interruption,  can  no  longer  be  main 
tained — as  in  the  dreams  of  impending  dread.  It 
is  here  changed  for  another  function — to  suspend 
the  sleep  at  the  proper  time.  It  acts  like  a  con 
scientious  night-watchman,  who  first  does  his  duty 
by  quelling  disturbances  so  as  not  to  waken  the 


DREAM  DISGUISES  DESIRES       71 

citizen,  but  equally  does  his  duty  quite  properly 
when  he  awakens  the  street  should  the  causes  of 
the  trouble  seem  to  him  serious  and  himself  un 
able  to  cope  with  them  alone. 

This  function  of  dreams  becomes  especially  well 
marked  when  there  arises  some  incentive  for  the 
sense  perception.  That  the  senses  aroused  during 
sleep  influence  the  dream  is  well  known,  and  can 
be  experimentally  verified;  it  is  one  of  the  certain 
but  much  overestimated  results  of  the  medical  in 
vestigation  of  dreams.  Hitherto  there  has  been 
an  insoluble  riddle  connected  with  this  discovery. 
The  stimulus  to  the  sense  by  which  the  investigator 
affects  the  sleeper  is  not  properly  recognized  in  the 
dream,  but  is  intermingled  with  a  number  of  in 
definite  interpretations,  whose  determination  ap 
pears  left  to  psychical  free-will.  There  is,  of 
course,  no  such  psychical  free-will.  To  an  external 
sense-stimulus  the  sleeper  can  react  in  many  ways, 
Either  he  awakens  or  he  succeeds  in  sleeping  on. 
In  the  latter  case  he  can  make  use  of  the  dream  to 
dismiss  the  external  stimulus,  and  this,  again,  in 
more  ways  than  one.  For  instance,  he  can  stay 
the  stimulus  by  dreaming  of  a  scene  which  is  abso 
lutely  intolerable  to  him.  This  was  the  means  used 
by  one  who  was  troubled  by  a  painful  perineal  ab 
scess.  He  dreamt  that  he  was  on  horseback,  and 


72  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

made  use  of  the  poultice,  which  was  intended  to 
alleviate  his  pain,  as  a  saddle,  and  thus  got  away 
from  the  cause  of  the  trouble.  Or,  as  is  more  fre 
quently  the  case,  the  external  stimulus  undergoes 
a  new  rendering,  which  leads  him  to  connect  it 
with  a  repressed  desire  seeking  its  realization,  and 
robs  him  of  its  reality,  and  is  treated  as  if  it  were  a 
part  of  the  psychical  matter.  Thus,  some  one 
dreamt  that  he  had  written  a  comedy  which  em 
bodied  a  definite  motif;  it  was  being  performed; 
the  first  act  was  over  amid  enthusiastic  applause; 
there  was  great  clapping.  At  this  moment  the 
dreamer  must  have  succeeded  in  prolonging  his 
sleep  despite  the  disturbance,  for  when  he  woke  he 
no  longer  heard  the  noise ;  he  concluded  rightly  that 
some  one  must  have  been  beating  a  carpet  or  bed. 
The  dreams  which  come  with  a  loud  noise  just 
before  waking  have  all  attempted  to  cover  the  stim 
ulus  to  waking  by  some  other  explanation,  and  thus 
to  prolong  the  sleep  for  a  little  while. 

Whosoever  has  firmly  accepted  this  censorship  as 
the  chief  motive  for  the  distortion  of  dreams  will 
not  be  surprised  to  learn  as  the  result  of  dream  in 
terpretation  that  most  of  the  dreams  of  adults  are 
traced'by  analysis  to  erotic  desires.  This  assertion 
is  not  drawn  from  dreams  obviously  of  a  sexual 
nature,  which  are  known  to  all  dreamers  from  their 


DREAM  DISGUISES  DESIRES      73 

own  experience,  and  are  the  only  ones  usually  de 
scribed  as  "sexual  dreams."  These  dreams  are  ever 
sufficiently  mysterious  by  reason  of  the  choice  of 
persons  who  are  made  the  objects  of  sex,  the  re 
moval  of  all  the  barriers  which  cry  halt  to  the 
dreamer's  sexual  needs  in  his  waking  state,  the 
many  strange  reminders  as  to  details  of  what  are 
called  perversions.  But  analysis  discovers  that,  in 
many  other  dreams  in  whose  manifest  content  noth 
ing  erotic  can  be  found,  the  work  of  interpretation 
shows  them  up  as,  in  reality,  realization  of  sexual 
desires ;  whilst,  on  the  other  hand,  that  much  of  the 
thought-making  when  awake,  the  thoughts  saved 
us  as  surplus  from  the  day  only,  reaches  presenta 
tion  in  dreams  with  the  help  of  repressed  erotic  de 
sires. 

Towards  the  explanation  of  this  statement,  which 
is  no  theoretical  postulate,  it  must  be  remembered 
that  no  other  class  of  instincts  has  required  so  vast 
a  suppression  at  the  behest  of  civilization  as  the 
sexual,  whilst  their  mastery  by  the  highest  psych 
ical  processes  are  in  most  persons  soonest  of  all 
relinquished.  Since  we  have  learnt  to  understand 
infantile  sexuality,  often  so  vague  in  its  expression, 
so  invariably  overlooked  and  misunderstood,  we  are 
justified  in  saying  that  nearly  every  civilized  person 
has  retained  at  some  point  or  other  the  infantile 


74  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

type  of  sex  life ;  thus  we  understand  that  repressed 
infantile  sex  desires  furnish  the  most  frequent  and 
most  powerful  impulses  for  the  formation  of 
dreams.1 

If  the  dream,  which  is  the  expression  of  some 
erotic  desire,  succeeds  in  making  its  manifest  con 
tent  appear  innocently  asexual,  it  is  only  possible 
in  one  way.  The  matter  of  these  sexual  presenta 
tions  cannot  be  exhibited  as  such,  but  must  be  re 
placed  by  allusions,  suggestions,  and  similar  indi 
rect  means;  differing  from  other  cases  of  indirect 
presentation,  those  used  in  dreams  must  be  deprived 
of  direct  nnderstanding.  The  means  of  presenta 
tion  which  answer  these  requirements  are  commonly 
termed  "symbols."  A  special  interest  has  been  di 
rected  towards  these,  since  it  has  been  observed  that 
the  dreamers  of  the  same  language  use  the  like  sym 
bols — indeed,  that  in  certain  cases  community  of 
symbol  is  greater  than  community  of  speech. 
Since  the  dreamers  do  not  themselves  know  the 
meaning  of  the  symbols  they  use,  it  remains  a  puz 
zle  whence  arises  their  relationship  with  what  they 
replace  and  denote.  The  fact  itself  is  undoubted, 
and  becomes  of  importance  for  the  technique  of  the 

i  Freud,  "Three  Contributions  to  Sexual  Theory,"  translated  by 
A.  A.  Brill  (Journal  of  Nervous  and  Mental  Disease  Publishing 
Company,  New  York). 


DREAM  DISGUISES  DESIRES      75 

interpretation  of  dreams,  since  by  the  aid  of  a 
knowledge  of  this  symbolism  it  is  possible  to  under 
stand  the  meaning  of  the  elements  of  a  dream,  or 
parts  of  a  dream,  occasionally  even  the  whole 
dream  itself,  without  having  to  question  the 
dreamer  as  to  his  own  ideas.  We  thus  come  near 
to  the  popular  idea  of  an  interpretation  of  dreams, 
and,  on  the  other  hand,  possess  again  the  technique 
of  the  ancients,  among  whom  the  interpretation  of 
dreams  was  identical  with  their  explanation  through 
symbolism. 

Though  the  study  of  dream  symbolism  is  far  re 
moved  from  finality,  we  now  possess  a  series  of  gen 
eral  statements  and  of  particular  observations 
which  are  quite  certain.  There  are  symbols  which 
practically  always  have  the  same  meaning:  Em 
peror  and  Empress  (King  and  Queen)  always 
mean  the  parents;  room,  a  woman,1  and  so  on. 
The  sexes  are  represented  by  a  great  variety  of 
symbols,  many  of  which  would  be  at  first  quite  in 
comprehensible  had  not  the  clews  to  the  meaning 
been  often  obtained  through  other  channels. 

There  are  symbols  of  universal  circulation,  found 
in  all  dreamers,  of  one  range  of  speech  and  culture ; 

i  The  words  from  "and"  to  "channels"  in  the  next  sentence  is  a 
short  summary  of  the  passage  in  the  original.  As  this  book  will  be 
read  by  other  than  professional  people  the  passage  has  not  been 
translated,  in  deference  to  English  opinion. — TRANSLATOR. 


76  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

there  are  others  of  the  narrowest  individual  signifi 
cance  which  an  individual  has  built  up  out  of  his 
own  material.  In  the  first  class  those  can  be  differ 
entiated  whose  claim  can  be  at  once  recognized  by 
the  replacement  of  sexual  things  in  common  speech 
(those,  for  instance,  arising  from  agriculture,  as 
reproduction,  seed)  from  others  whose  sexual  refer 
ences  appear  to  reach  back  to  the  earliest  times 
and  to  the  obscurest  depths  of  our  image-building. 
The  power  of  building  symbols  in  both  these  special 
forms  of  symbols  has  not  died  out.  Recently  dis 
covered  things,  like  the  airship,  are  at  once  brought 
into  universal  use  as  sex  symbols. 

It  would  be  quite  an  error  to  suppose  that  a  pro- 
founder  knowledge  of  dream  symbolism  (the  "Lan 
guage  of  Dreams")  would  make  us  independent  of 
questioning  the  dreamer  regarding  his  impressions 
about  the  dream,  and  would  give  us  back  the  whole 
technique  of  ancient  dream  interpreters.  Apart 
from  individual  symbols  and  the  variations  in  the 
use  of  what  is  general,  one  never  knows  whether 
an  element  in  the  dream  is  to  be  understood  sym 
bolically  or  in  its  proper  meaning;  the  whole  con 
tent  of  the  dream  is  certainly  not  to  be  interpreted 
symbolically.  The  knowledge  of  dream  symbols 
will  only  help  us  in  understanding  portions  of  the 
dream  content,  and  does  not  render  the  use  of  the 


DREAM  DISGUISES  DESIRES      77 

technical  rules  previously  given  at  all  superfluous. 
But  it  must  be  of  the  greatest  service  in  interpret 
ing  a  dream  just  when  the  impressions  of  the 
dreamer  are  withheld  or  are  insufficient. 

Dream  symbolism  proves  also  indispensable  for 
understanding  the  so-called  "typical"  dreams  and 
the  dreams  that  "repeat  themselves."  Dream  sym 
bolism  leads  us  far  beyond  the  dream;  it  does  not 
belong  only  to  dreams,  but  is  likewise  dominant  in 
legend,  myth,  and  saga,  in  wit  and  in  folklore.  It 
compels  us  to  pursue  the  inner  meaning  of  the 
dream  in  these  productions.  But  we  must  ac 
knowledge  that  symbolism  is  not  a  result  of  the 
dream  work,  but  is  a  peculiarity  probably  of  our 
unconscious  thinking,  which  furnishes  to  the  dream 
work  the  matter  for  condensation,  displacement, 
and  dramatization. 


IV 

DREAM   ANALYSIS 

PERHAPS  we  shall  now  begin  to  suspect  that  dream 
interpretation  is  capable  of  giving  us  hints  about 
the  structure  of  our  psychic  apparatus  which  we 
have  thus  far  expected  in  vain  from  philosophy. 
We  shall  not,  however,  follow  this  track,  but  re 
turn  to  our  original  problem  as  soon  as  we  have 
cleared  up  the  subject  of  dream-disfigurement. 
The  question  has  arisen  how  dreams  with  disagree 
able  content  can  be  analyzed  as  the  fulfillment  of 
wishes.  We  see  now  that  this  is  possible  in  case 
dream-disfigurement  has  taken  place,  in  case  the 
disagreeable  content  serves  only  as  a  disguise  for 
what  is  wished.  Keeping  in  mind  our  assumptions 
in  regard  to  the  two  psychic  instances,  we  may  now 
proceed  to  say :  disagreeable  dreams,  as  a  matter  of 
fact,  contain  something  which  is  disagreeable  to  the 
second  instance,  but  which  at  the  same  time  fulfills 
a  wish  of  the  first  instance.  They  are  wish  dreams 
in  the  sense  that  every  dream  originates  in  the  first 
instance,  while  the  second  instance  acts  towards  the 
dream  only  in  repelling,  not  in  a  creative  manner. 

78 


DREAM  ANALYSIS  79 

If  we  limit  ourselves  to  a  consideration  of  what  the 
second  instance  contributes  to  the  dream,  we  can 
never  understand  the  dream.  If  we  do  so,  all  the 
riddles  which  the  authors  have  found  in  the  dream 
remain  unsolved. 

That  the  dream  actually  has  a  secret  meaning, 
which  turns  out  to  be  the  fulfillment  of  a  wish,  must 
be  proved  afresh  for  every  case  by  means  of  an 
analysis.  I  therefore  select  several  dreams  which 
have  painful  contents  and  attempt  an  analysis  of 
them.  They  are  partly  dreams  of  hysterical  sub 
jects,  which  require  long  preliminary  statements, 
and  now  and  then  also  an  examination  of  the 
psychic  processes  which  occur  in  hysteria.  I  can 
not,  however,  avoid  this  added  difficulty  in  the  ex 
position. 

When  I  give  a  psychoneurotic  patient  analytical 
treatment,  dreams  are  always,  as  I  have  said,  the 
subject  of  our  discussion.  It  must,  therefore,  give 
him  all  the  psychological  explanations  through 
whose  aid  I  myself  have  come  to  an  understanding 
of  his  symptoms,  and  here  I  undergo  an  unsparing 
criticism,  which  is  perhaps  not  less  keen  than  that  I 
must  expect  from  my  colleagues.  Contradiction 
of  the  thesis  that  all  dreams  are  the  fulfillments  of 
wishes  is  raised  by  my  patients  with  perfect  regu 
larity.  Here  are  several  examples  of  the  dream 


80  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

material  which  is  offered  me  to  refute  this  position. 

"You  always  tell  me  that  the  dream  is  a  wish  ful 
filled,"  begins  a  clever  lady  patient.  "Now  I  shall 
tell  you  a  dream  in  which  the  content  is  quite  the 
opposite,  in  which  a  wish  of  mine  is  not  fulfilled. 
How  do  you  reconcile  that  with  your  theory?  The 
dream  is  as  follows  :— 

ffl  want  to  give  a  supper,  but  having  nothing  at 
hand  except  some  smoked  salmon,  I  think  of  going 
marketing,  but  I  remember  that  it  is  Sunday  after 
noon,  when  all  the  shops  are  closed.  I  next  try  to 
telephone  to  some  caterers,  but  the  telephone  is  out 
of  order. . .  Thus  I  must  resign  my  wish  to  give  a 
supper." 

I  answer,  of  course,  that  only  the  analysis  can  de 
cide  the  meaning  of  this  dream,  although  I  admit 
that  at  first  sight  it  seems  sensible  and  coherent, 
and  looks  like  the  opposite  of  a  wish-fulfillment. 
"But  what  occurrence  has  given  rise  to  this  dream?" 
I  ask.  "You  know  that  the  stimulus  for  a  dream 
always  lies  among  the  experiences  of  the  preceding 
day." 

Analysis. — The  husband  of  the  patient,  an  up 
right  and  conscientious  wholesale  butcher,  had  told 
her  the  day  before  that  he  is  growing  too  fat,  and 
that  he  must,  therefore,  begin  treatment  for  obesity. 
He  was  going  to  get  up  early,  take  exercise,  keep 


DREAM  ANALYSIS  81 

to  a  strict  diet,  and  above  all  accept  no  more  invita 
tions  to  suppers.  She  proceeds  laughingly  to  re 
late  how  her  husband  at  an  inn  table  had  made  the 
acquaintance  of  an  artist,  who  insisted  upon  paint 
ing  his  portrait  because  he,  the  painter,  had  never 
found  such  an  expressive  head.  But  her  husband 
had  answered  in  his  rough  way,  that  he  was  very 
thankful  for  the  honor,  but  that  he  was  quite  con 
vinced  that  a  portion  of  the  backside  of  a  pretty 
young  girl  would  please  the  artist  better  than  his 
whole  face.1  She  said  that  she  was  at  the  time  very 
much  in  love  with  her  husband,  and  teased  him  a 
good  deal.  She  had  also  asked  him  not  to  send 
her  any  caviare.  What  does  that  mean? 

As  a  matter  of  fact,  she  had  wanted  for  a  long 
time  to  eat  a  caviare  sandwich  every  forenoon,  but 
had  grudged  herself  the  expense.  Of  course,  she 
would  at  once  get  the  caviare  from  her  husband,  as 
soon  as  she  asked  him  for  it.  But  she  had  begged 
him,  on  the  contrary,  not  to  send  her  the  caviare, 
in  order  that  she  might  tease  him  about  it  longer. 

This  explanation  seems  far-fetched  to  me.  Un 
admitted  motives  are  in  the  habit  of  hiding  behind 
such  unsatisfactory  explanations.  We  are  re 
minded  of  subjects  hypnotized  by  Bernheim,  who 

i  To  sit  for  the  painter.     Goethe :  "And  if  he  has  no  backside,  how 
can  the  nobleman  sit?" 


82  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

carried  out  a  posthypnotic  order,  and  who,  upon 
being  asked  for  their  motives,  instead  of  answer 
ing:  "I  do  not  know  why  I  did  that,"  had  to  in 
vent  a  reason  that  was  obviously  inadequate. 
Something  similar  is  probably  the  case  with  the 
caviare  of  my  patient.  I  see  that  she  is  compelled 
to  create  an  unfulfilled  wish  in  life.  Her  dream 
also  shows  the  reproduction  of  the  wish  as  accom 
plished.  But  why  does  she  need  an  unfulfilled 
wish? 

The  ideas  so  far  produced  are  insufficient  for  the 
interpretation  of  the  dream.  I  beg  for  more. 
After  a  short  pause,  which  corresponds  to  the  over 
coming  of  a  resistance,  she  reports  further  that  the 
day  before  she  had  made  a  visit  to  a  friend,  of 
whom  she  is  really  jealous,  because  her  husband  is 
always  praising  this  woman  so  much.  Fortunately, 
this  friend  is  very  lean  and  thin,  and  her  husband 
likes  well-rounded  figures.  Now  of  what  did  this 
lean  friend  speak?  Naturally  of  her  wish  to  be 
come  somewhat  stouter.  She  also  asked  my  pa 
tient:  "When  are  you  going  to  invite  us  again? 
You  always  have  such  a  good  table." 

Now  the  meaning  of  the  dream  is  clear.  I  may 
say  to  the  patient:  "It  is  just  as  though  you  had 
thought  at  the  time  of  the  request:  'Of  course, 
I'll  invite  you,  so  you  can  eat  yourself  fat  -at  my 


DREAM  ANALYSIS  83 

house  and  become  still  more  pleasing  to  my  hus 
band.  I  would  rather  give  no  more  suppers.' 
The  dream  then  tells  you  that  you  cannot  give  a 
supper,  thereby  fulfilling  your  wish  not  to  con 
tribute  anything  to  the  rounding  out  of  your 
friend's  figure.  The  resolution  of  your  husband  to 
refuse  invitations  to  supper  for  the  sake  of  getting 
thin  teaches  you  that  one  grows  fat  on  the  things 
served  in  company."  Now  only  some  conversation 
is  necessary  to  confirm  the  solution.  The  smoked 
salmon  in  the  dream  has  not  yet  been  traced. 
"How  did  the  salmon  mentioned  in  the  dream  occur 
to  you?"  "Smoked  salmon  is  the  favorite  dish  of 
this  friend,"  she  answered.  I  happen  to  know  the 
lady,  and  may  corroborate  this  by  saying  that  she 
grudges  herself  the  salmon  just  as  much  as  my  pa 
tient  grudge's  herself  the  caviare. 

The  dream  admits  of  still  another  and  more  exact 
interpretation,  which  is  necessitated  only  by  a  sub 
ordinate  circumstance.  The  two  interpretations  do 
not  contradict  one  another,  but  rather  cover  each 
other  and  furnish  a  neat  example  of  the  usual  am 
biguity  of  dreams  as  well  as  of  all  other  psycho- 
pathological  formations.  We  have  seen  that  at  the 
same  time  that  she  dreams  of  the  denial  of  the  wish, 
the  patient  is  in  reality  occupied  in  securing  an  un 
fulfilled  wish  (the  caviare  sandwiches).  Her 


84  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

friend,  too,  had  expressed  a  wish,  namely,  to  get 
fatter,  and  it  would  not  surprise  us  if  our  lady  had 
dreamt  that  the  wish  of  the  friend  was  not  being 
fulfilled.  For  it  is  her  own  wish  that  a  wish  of  her 
friend's — for  increase  in  weight — should  not  be  ful 
filled.  Instead  of  this,  however,  she  dreams  that 
one  of  her  own  wishes  is  not  fulfilled.  The  dream 
becomes  capable  of  a  new  interpretation,  if  in  the 
dream  she  does  not  intend  herself,  but  her  friend, 
if  she  has  put  herself  in  the  place  of  her  friend, 
or,  as  we  may  say,  has  identified  herself  with  her 
friend. 

I  think  she  has  actually  done  this,  and  as  a  sign 
of  this  identification  she  has  created  an  unfulfilled 
wish  in  reality.  But  what  is  the  meaning  of  this 
hysterical  identification?  To  clear  this  up  a 
thorough  exposition  is  necessary.  Identification  is 
a  highly  important  factor  in  the  mechanism  of  hys 
terical  symptoms;  by  this  means  patients  are  en 
abled  in  their  symptoms  to  represent  not  merely 
their  own  experiences,  but  the  experiences  of  a 
great  number  of  other  persons,  and  can  suffer,  as  it 
were,  for  a  whole  mass  of  people,  and  fill  all  the 
parts  of  a  drama  by  means  of  their  own  personali 
ties  alone.  It  will  here  be  objected  that  this  is 
well-known  hysterical  imitation,  the  ability  of  hys 
teric  subjects  to  copy  all  the  symptoms  which  im- 


DREAM  ANALYSIS  85 

press  them  when  they  occur  in  others,  as  though 
their  pity  were  stimulated  to  the  point  of  repro 
duction.  But  this  only  indicates  the  way  in  which 
the  psychic  process  is  discharged  in  hysterical  imi 
tation;  the  way  in  which  a  psychic  act  proceeds  and 
the  act  itself  are  two  different  things.  The  latter 
is  slightly  more  complicated  than  one  is  apt  to  im 
agine  the  imitation  of  hysterical  subjects  to  be:  it 
corresponds  to  an  unconscious  concluded  process,  as 
an  example  will  show.  The  physician  who  has  a 
female  patient  with  a  particular  kind  of  twitching, 
lodged  in  the  company  of  other  patients  in  the  same 
room  of  the  hospital,  is  not  surprised  when  some 
morning  he  learns  that  this  peculiar  hysterical  at 
tack  has  found  imitations.  He  simply  says  to  him 
self :  The  others  have  seen  her  and  have  done  like 
wise:  that  is  psychic  infection.  Yes,  but  psychic 
infection  proceeds  in  somewhat  the  following  man 
ner:  As  a  rule,  patients  know  more  about  one 
another  than  the  physician  knows  about  each  of 
them,  and  they  are  concerned  about  each  other  when 
the  visit  of  the  doctor  is  over.  Some  of  them  have 
an  attack  to-day:  soon  it  is  known  among  the  rest 
that  a  letter  from  home,  a  return  of  lovesickness  or 
the  like,  is  the  cause  of  it.  Their  sympathy  is 
aroused,  and  the  following  syllogism,  which  does 
not  reach  consciousness,  is  completed  in  them:  "If 


86  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

it  is  possible  to  have  this  kind  of  an  attack  from 
such  causes,  I  too  may  have  this  kind  of  an  attack, 
for  I  have  the  same  reasons."  If  this  were  a  cycle 
capable  of  becoming  conscious,  it  would  perhaps 
express  itself  in  fear  of  getting  the  same  attack; 
but  it  takes  place  in  another  psychic  sphere,  and, 
therefore,  ends  in  the  realization  of  the  dreaded 
symptom.  Identification  is  therefore  not  a  simple 
imitation,  but  a  sympathy  based  upon  the  same 
etiological  claim;  it  expresses  an  "as  though,"  and 
refers  to  some  common  quality  which  has  remained 
in  the  unconscious. 

Identification  is  most  often  used  in  hysteria  to 
express  sexual  community.  An  hysterical  woman 
identifies  herself  most  readily — although  not  exclu 
sively — with  persons  with  whom  she  has  had  sexual 
relations,  or  who  have  sexual  intercourse  with  the 
same  persons  as  herself.  Language  takes  such  a 
conception  into  consideration:  two  lovers  are  "one." 
In  the  hysterical  phantasy,  as  well  as  in  the  dream, 
it  is  sufficient  for  the  identification  if  one  thinks  of 
sexual  relations,  whether  or  not  they  become  real. 
The  patient,  then,  only  follows  the  rules  of  the  hys 
terical  thought  processes  when  she  gives  expression 
to  her  jealousy  of  her  friend  (which,  moreover,  she 
herself  admits  to  be  unjustified,  in  that  she  puts 
herself  in  her  place  and  identifies  herself  with  her 


DREAM  ANALYSIS  87 

by  creating  a  symptom — the  denied  wish).  I 
might  further  clarify  the  process  specifically  as  fol 
lows  :  She  puts  herself  in  the  place  of  her  friend  in 
the  dream,  because  her  friend  has  taken  her  own 
place  relation  to  her  husband,  and  because  she 
would  like  to  take  her  friend's  place  in  the  esteem 
of  her  husband.1 

The  contradiction  to  my  theory  of  dreams  in  the 
case  of  another  female  patient,  the  most  witty 
among  all  my  dreamers,  was  solved  in  a  simpler 
manner,  although  according  to  the  scheme  that  the 
non-fulfillment  of  one  wish  signifies  the  fulfill 
ment  of  another.  I  had  one  day  explained  to 
her  that  the  dream  is  a  wish  of  fulfillment.  The 
next  day  she  brought  me  a  dream  to  the  ef 
fect  that  she  was  traveling  with  her  mother-in- 
law  to  their  common  summer  resort.  Now  I 
knew  that  she  had  struggled  violently  against 
spending  the  summer  in  the  neighborhood  of  her 
mother-in-law.  I  also  knew  that  she  had  luckily 
avoided  her  mother-in-law  by  renting  an  es 
tate  in  a  far-distant  country  resort.  Now  the 

1 1  myself  regret  the  introduction  of  such  passages  from  the  psycho- 
pathology  of  hysteria,  which,  because  of  their  fragmentary  repre 
sentation  and  of  being  torn  from  all  connection  with  the  subject,  can 
not  have  a  very  enlightening  influence.  If  these  passages  are  capable 
of  throwing  light  upon  the  intimate  relations  between  the  dream  and 
the  psychoneuroses,  they  have  served  the  purpose  for  which  I  have 
taken  them  up. 


88  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

dream  reversed  this  wished- for  solution;  was  not 
this  in  the  flattest  contradiction  to  my  theory  of 
wish- fulfillment  in  the  dream?  Certainly,  it  was 
only  necessary  to  draw  the  inferences  from  this 
dream  in  order  to  get  at  its  interpretation.  Ac 
cording  to  this  dream,  I  was  in  the  wrong.  It  was 
thus  her  wish  that  I  should  be  in  the  wrong,  and 
this  wish  the  dream  showed  her  as  fulfilled.  But 
the  wish  that  I  should  be  in  the  wrong,  which  was 
fulfilled  in  the  theme  of  the  country  home,  referred 
to  a  more  serious  matter.  At  that  time  I  had  made 
up  my  mind,  from  the  material  furnished  by  her 
analysis,  that  something  of  significance  for  her  ill 
ness  must  have  occurred  at  a  certain  time  in  her  life. 
She  had  denied  it  because  it  was  not  present  in  her 
memory.  We  soon  came  to  see  that  I  was  in  the 
right.  Her  wish  that  I  should  be  in  the  wrong, 
which  is  transformed  into  the  dream,  thus  corre 
sponded  to  the  justifiable  wish  that  those  things, 
which  at  the  time  had  only  been  suspected,  had  never 
occurred  at  all. 

Without  an  analysis,  and  merely  by  means  of  an 
assumption,  I  took  the  liberty  of  interpreting  a 
little  occurrence  in  the  case  of  a  friend,  who  had 
been  my  colleague  through  the  eight  classes  of  the 
Gymnasium.  He  once  heard  a  lecture  of  mine  de- 


DREAM  ANALYSIS  89 

livered  to  a  small  assemblage,  on  the  novel  subject 
of  the  dream  as  the  fulfillment  of  a  wish.  He  went 
home,  dreamt  that  he  had  lost  all  his  suits — he  was 
a  lawyer — and  then  complained  to  me  about  it.  I 
took  refuge  in  the  evasion:  "One  can't  win  all 
one's  suits,"  but  I  thought  to  myself:  "If  for  eight 
years  I  sat  as  Primus  on  the  first  bench,  while  he 
moved  around  somewhere  in  the  middle  of  the  class, 
may  he  not  naturally  have  had  a  wish  from  his  boy 
hood  days  that  I,  too,  might  for  once  completely 
disgrace  myself?" 

In  the  same  way  another  dream  of  a  more  gloomy 
character  was  offered  me  by  a  female  patient  as  a 
contradiction  to  my  theory  of  the  wish-dream.  The 
patient,  a  young  girl,  began  as  follows:  "You  re 
member  that  my  sister  has  now  only  one  boy, 
Charles:  she  lost  the  elder  one,  Otto,  while  I  was 
still  at  her  house.  Otto  was  my  favorite;  it  was  I 
who  really  brought  him  up.  I  like  the  other  little 
fellow,  too,  but  of  course  not  nearly  as  much  as  the 
dead  one.  Now  I  dreamt  last  night  that  /  saw 
Charles  lying  dead  before  me.  He  was  lying  in  his 
little  coffin,  his  hands  folded:  there  were  candles  all 
about,  and,  in  short,  it  was  just  like  the  time  of  little 
Otto's  death,  which  shocked  me  so  profoundly. 
Now  tell  me,  what  does  this  mean?  You  know  me : 


90  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

am  I  really  bad  enough  to  wish  my  sister  to  lose  the 
only  child  she  has  left?  Or  does  the  dream  mean 
that  I  wish  Charles  to  be  dead  rather  than  Otto, 
whom  I  like  so  much  better?" 

I  assured  her  that  this  interpretation  was  impos 
sible.  After  some  reflection  I  was  able  to  give  her 
the  interpretation  of  the  dream,  wrhich  I  subse 
quently  made  her  confirm. 

Having  become  an  orphan  at  an  early  age,  the 
girl  had  been  brought  up  in  the  house  of  a  much 
older  sister,  and  had  met  among  the  friends  and 
visitors  who  came  to  the  house,  a  man  who  made  a 
lasting  impression  upon  her  heart.  It  looked  forla 
time  as  though  these  barely  expressed  relations 
were  to  end  in  marriage,  hut  this  happy  culmination 
was  frustrated  by  the  sister,  whose  motives  have 
never  found  a  complete  explanation.  After  the 
break,  the  man  who  was  loved  by  our  patient 
avoided  the  house:  she  herself  became  independent 
some  time  after  little  Otto's  death,  to  whom  her 
affection  had  now  turned.  But  she  did  not  succeed 
in  freeing  herself  from  the  inclination  for  her  sister's 
friend  in  which  she  had  become  involved.  Her 
pride  commanded  her  to  avoid  him;  but  it  was  im 
possible  for  her  to  transfer  her  love  to  the  other 
suitors  who  presented  themselves  in  order.  When 
ever  the  man  whom  she  loved,  who  was  a  member 


DREAM  ANALYSIS  91 

of  the  literary  profession,  announced  a  lecture  any 
where,  she  was  sure  to  be  found  in  the  audience ;  she 
also  seized  every  other  opportunity  to  see  him  from 
a  distance  unobserved  by  him.  I  remembered  that 
on  the  day  before  she  had  told  me  that  the  Professor 
was  going  to  a  certain  concert,  and  that  she  was  also 
going  there,  in  order  to  enjoy  the  sight  of  him. 
This  was  on  the  day  of  the  dream;  and  the  concert 
was  to  take  place  on  the  day  on  which  she  told  me 
the  dream.  I  could  now  easily  see  the  correct  in 
terpretation,  and  I  asked  her  whether  she  could 
think  of  any  event  which  had  happened  after  the 
death  of  little  Otto.  She  answered  immediately: 
"Certainly;  at  that  time  the  Professor  returned 
after  a  long  absence,  and  I  saw  him  once  more  be 
side  the  coffin  of  little  Otto."  It  was  exactly  as  I 
had  expected.  I  interpreted  the  dream  in  the  fol 
lowing  manner:  If  now  the  other  boy  were  to  die, 
the  same  thing  would  be  repeated.  You  would 
spend  the  day  with  your  sister,  the  Professor  would 
surely  come  in  order  to  offer  condolence,  and  you 
would  see  him  again  under  the  same  circumstances 
as  at  that  time.  The  dream  signifies  nothing  but 
this  wish  of  yours  to  see  him  again,  against  which 
you  are  fighting  inwardly.  I  know  that  you  are 
carrying  the  ticket  for  to-day's  concert  in  your  bag. 
Your  dream  is  a  dream  of  impatience ;  it  has  antici- 


92  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

pated  the  meeting  which  is  to  take  place  to-day  by 
several  hours." 

In  order  to  disguise  her  wish  she  had  obviously 
selected  a  situation  in  which  wishes  of  that  sort  are 
commonly  suppressed — a  situation  which  is  so  filled 
with  sorrow  that  love  is  not  thought  of.  And  yet, 
it  is  very  easily  probable  that  even  in  the  actual 
situation  at  the  bier  of  the  second,  more  dearly  loved 
boy,  which  the  dream  copied  faithfully,  she  had  not 
been  able  to  suppress  her  feelings  of  affection  for 
the  visitor  whom  she  had  missed  for  so  long  a  time. 

A  different  explanation  was  found  in  the  case  of 
a  similar  dream  of  another  female  patient,  who  was 
distinguished  in  her  earlier  years  by  her  quick  wit 
and  her  cheerful  demeanors  and  who  still  showed 
these  qualities  at  least  in  the  notion,  which  occurred 
to  her  in  the  course  of  treatment.  In  connection 
with  a  longer  dream,  it  seemed  to  this  lady  that  she 
saw  her  fifteen-year-old  daughter  lying  dead  be 
fore  her  in  a  box.  She  was  strongly  inclined  to 
convert  this  dream-image  into  an  objection  to  the 
theory  of  wish-fulfillment,  but  herself  suspected 
that  the  detail  of  the  box  must  lead  to  a  different 
conception  of  the  dream.1  In  the  course  of  the 
analysis  it  occurred  to  her  that  on  the  evening  be- 

i  Something  like  the  smoked  salmon  in  the  dream  of  the  deferred 
supper. 


DREAM  ANALYSIS  93 

fore,  the  conversation  of  the  company  had  turned 
upon  the  English  word  "box,"  and  upon  the  numer 
ous  translations  of  it  into  German,  such  as  box, 
theater  box,  chest,  box  on  the  ear,  &c.  From  other 
components  of  the  same  dream  it  is  now  possible 
to  add  that  the  lady  had  guessed  the  relationship 
between  the  English  word  "box"  and  the  German 
Buchse,  and  had  then  been  haunted  by  the  memory 
that  Biichse  (as  well  as  "box")  is  used  in  vulgar 
speech  to  designate  the  female  genital  organ.  It 
was  therefore  possible,  making  a  certain  allowance 
for  her  notions  on  the  subject  of  topographical  an 
atomy,  to  assume  that  the  child  in  the  box  signified 
a  child  in  the  womb  of  the  mother.  At  this  stage 
of  the  explanation  she  no  longer  denied  that  the 
picture  of  the  dream  really  corresponded  to  one  of 
her  wishes.  Like  so  many  other  young  women, 
she  was  by  no  means  happy  when  she  became  preg 
nant,  and  admitted  to  me  more  than  once  the  wish 
that  her  child  might  die  before  its  birth ;  in  a  fit  of 
anger  following  a  violent  scene  with  her  husband 
she  had  even  struck  her  abdomen  with  her  fists  in 
order  to  hit  the  child  within.  The  dead  child  was, 
therefore,  really  the  fulfillment  of  a  wish,  but  a 
wish  which  had  been  put  aside  for  fifteen  years,  and 
it  is  not  surprising  that  the  fulfillment  of  the  wish 
was  no  longer  recognized  after  so  long  an  interval. 


94  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

For  there  had  been  many  changes  meanwhile. 
The  group  of  dreams  to  which  the  two  last  men 
tioned  belong,  having  as  content  the  death  of  be 
loved  relatives,  will  be  considered  again  under  the 
head  of  "Typical  Dreams."  I  shall  there  be  able 
to  show  by  new  examples  that  in  spite  of  their  un 
desirable  content,  all  these  dreams  must  be  inter 
preted  as  wish-fulfillments.  For  the  following 
dream,  wrhich  again  was  told  me  in  order  to  deter 
me  from  a  hasty  generalization  of  the  theory  of 
wishing  in  dreams,  I  am  indebted,  not  to  a  patient, 
but  to  an  intelligent  jurist  of  my  acquaintance.  ffl 
dream/'  my  informant  tells  me,  "that  I  am  walking 
in  front  of  my  house  with  a  lady  on  my  arm.  Here 
a  closed  wagon  is  waiting,  a  gentleman  steps  up  to 
me,  gives  his  authority  as  an  agent  of  the  police, 
and  demands  that  I  should  follow  him.  I  only  ask 
for  time  in  which  to  arrange  my  affairs.  Can  you 
possibly  suppose  this  is  a  wish  of  mine  to  be  ar 
rested?"  "Of  course  not,"  I  must  admit.  "Do 
you  happen  to  know  upon  what  charge  you  were 
arrested?"  "Yes;  I  believe  for  infanticide."  "In 
fanticide?  But  you  know  that  only  a  mother  can 
commit  this  crime  upon  her  newly  born  child?" 
"That  is  true."  l  "And  under  what  circumstances 

i  It  often  happens  that  a  dream  is  told  incompletely,  and  that  a 
recollection  of  the  omitted  portions  appear  only  in  the  course  of  the 


DREAM  ANALYSIS  95 

did  you  dream;  what  happened  on  the  evening  be 
fore?"  "I  would  rather  not  tell  you  that;  it  is  a 
delicate  matter."  "But  I  must  have  it,  otherwise 
we  must  forgo  the  interpretation  of  the  dream." 
"Well,  then,  I  will  tell  you.  I  spent  the  night,  not 
at  home,  but  at  the  house  of  a  lady  who  means  very 
much  to  me.  When  we  awoke  in  the  morning, 
something  again  passed  between  us.  Then  I  went 
to  sleep  again,  and  dreamt  what  I  have  told  you." 
"The  woman  is  married?"  "Yes."  "And  you  do 
not  wish  her  to  conceive  a  child?"  "No;  that  might 
betray  us."  "Then  you  do  not  practice  normal 
coitus?'  "I  take  the  precaution  to  withdraw  before 
ej  aculation."  "Am  I  permitted  to  assume  that  you 
did  this  trick  several  times  during  the  night,  and 
that  in  the  morning  you  were  not  quite  sure  whether 
you  had  succeeded?"  "That  might  be  the  case." 
"Then  your  dream  is  the  fulfillment  of  a  wish.  By 
means  of  it  you  secure  the  assurance  that  you  have 
not  begotten  a  child,  or,  what  amounts  to  the  same 
thing,  that  you  have  killed  a  child.  I  can  easily 
demonstrate  the  connecting  links.  Do  you  remem 
ber,  a  few  days  ago  we  were  talking  about  the  dis 
tress  of  matrimony  (Ehenot) ,  and  about  the  incon 
sistency  of  permitting  the  practice  of  coitus  as  long 

analysis.  These  portions  subsequently  fitted  in,  regularly  furnish 
the  key  to  the  interpretation.  Cf.  below,  about  forgetting  in  dreams, 


96  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

as  no  impregnation  takes  place,  while  every  de 
linquency  after  the  ovum  and  the  semen  meet  and 
a  foetus  is  formed  is  punished  as  a  crime?  In  con 
nection  with  this,  we  also  recalled  the  mediaeval  con 
troversy  about  the  moment  of  time  at  which  the  soul 
is  really  lodged  in  the  foetus,  since  the  concept  of 
murder  becomes  admissible  only  from  that  point 
on.  Doubtless  you  also  know  the  gruesome  poem 
by  Lenau,  which  puts  infanticide  and  the  preven 
tion  of  children  on  the  same  plane."  "Strangely 
enough,  I  had  happened  to  think  of  Lenau  during 
the  afternoon."  "Another  echo  of  your  dream. 
And  now  I  shall  demonstrate  to  you  another  sub 
ordinate  wish- fulfillment  in  your  dream.  You 
walk  in  front  of  your  house  with  the  lady  on  your 
arm.  So  you  take  her  home,  instead  of  spending 
the  night  at  her  house,  as  you  do  in  actuality.  The 
fact  that  the  wish-fulfillment,  which  is  the  essence 
of  the  dream,  disguises  itself  in  such  an  unpleasant 
form,  has  perhaps  more  than  one  reason.  From 
my  essay  on  the  etiology  of  anxiety  neuroses,  you 
will  see  that  I  note  interrupted  coitus  as  one  of  the 
factors  which  cause  the  development  of  neurotic 
fear.  It  would  be  consistent  with  this  that  if  after 
repeated  cohabitation  of  the  kind  mentioned  you 
should  be  left  in  an  uncomfortable  mood,  which  now 
becomes  an  element  in  the  composition  of  your 


DREAM  ANALYSIS  97 

dream.  You  also  make  use  of  this  unpleasant  state 
of  mind  to  conceal  the  wish-fulfillment..  Further 
more,  the  mention  of  infanticide  has  not  yet  been 
explained.  Why  does  this  crime,  which  is  peculiar 
to  females,  occur  to  you?"  "I  shall  confess  to  you 
that  I  was  involved  in  such  an  affair  years  ago. 
Through  my  fault  a  girl  tried  to  protect  herself 
from  the  consequences  of  a  liaison  with  me  by  secur 
ing  an  abortion.  I  had  nothing  to  do  with  carry 
ing  out  the  plan,  but  I  was  naturally  for  a  long 
time  worried  lest  the  affair  might  be  discovered." 
"I  understand;  this  recollection  furnished  a  second 
reason  why  the  supposition  that  you  had  done  your 
trick  badly  must  have  been  painful  to  you.'* 

A  young  physician,  who  had  heard  this  dream  of 
my  colleague  when  it  was  told,  must  have  felt  im 
plicated  by  it,  for  he  hastened  to  imitate  it  in  a 
dream  of  his  own,  applying  its  mode  of  thinking  to 
another  subject.  The  day  before  he  had  handed 
in  a  declaration  of  his  income,  which  was  perfectly 
honest,  because  he  had  little  to  declare.  He  dreamt 
that  an  acquaintance  of  his  came  from  a  meeting 
of  the  tax  commission  and  informed  him  that  all 
the  other  declarations  of  income  had  passed  uncon- 
tested,  but  that  his  own  had  awakened  general  sus 
picion,  and  that  he  would  be  punished  with  a  heavy 
fine.  The  dream  is  a  poorly-concealed  fulfillment 


98  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

of  the  wish  to  be  known  as  a  physician  with  a  large 
income.  It  likewise  recalls  the  story  of  the  young 
girl  who  was  advised  against  accepting  her  suitor 
because  he  was  a  man  of  quick  temper  who  would 
surely  treat  her  to  blows  after  they  were  mar 
ried. 

The  answer  of  the  girl  was:  "I  wish  he  would 
strike  me!"  Her  wish  to  be  married  is  so  strong 
that  she  takes  into  the  bargain  the  discomfort  which 
is  said  to  be  connected  with  matrimony,  and  which 
is  predicted  for  her,  and  even  raises  it  to  a  wish. 

If  I  group  the  very  frequently  occurring  dreams 
of  this  sort,  which  seem  flatly  to  contradict  my 
theory,  in  that  they  contain  the  denial  of  a  Mash  or 
some  occurrence  decidedly  unwished  for,  under  the 
head  of  "counter  wish-dreams,"  I  observe  that  they 
may  all  be  referred  to  two  principles,  of  which  one 
has  not  yet  been  mentioned,  although  it  plays  a 
large  part  in  the  dreams  of  human  beings.  One  of 
the  motives  inspiring  these  dreams  is  the  wish  that 
I  should  appear  in  the  wrong.  These  dreams  regu 
larly  occur  in  the  course  of  my  treatment  if  the  pa 
tient  shows  a  resistance  against  me,  and  I  can  count 
with  a  large  degree  of  certainty  upon  causing  such 
a  dream  after  I  have  once  explained  to  the  patient 
my  theory  that  the  dream  is  a  wish-fulfillment.1  I 

i  Similar  "counter  wish-dreams"  have  been  repeatedly  reported  to 
me  within  the  last  few  years  by  rny  pupils  who  thus  reacted  to  their 
first  encounter  with  the  "  wish  theory  of  the  dream." 


DREAM  ANALYSIS  99 

may  even  expect  this  to  be  the  case  in  a  dream 
merely  in  order  to  fulfill  the  wish  that  I  may  appear 
in  the  wrong.  The  last  dream  which  I  shall  tell 
from  those  occurring  in  the  course  of  treatment 
again  shows  this  very  thing.  A  young  girl  who 
has  struggled  hard  to  continue  my  treatment, 
against  the  will  of  her  relatives  and  the  authorities 
whom  she  had  consulted,  dreams  as  follows:  She 
is  forbidden  at  home  to  come  to  me  any  more.  She 
then  reminds  me  of  the  promise  I  made  her  to  treat 
her  for  nothing  if  necessary,  and  I  say  to  her:  "I 
can  show  no  consideration  in  money  matters." 

It  is  not  at  all  easy  in  this  case  to  demonstrate 
the  fulfillment  of  a  wish,  but  in  all  cases  of  this  kind 
there  is  a  second  problem,  the  solution  of  which 
helps  also  to  solve  the  first.  Where  does  she  get 
the  words  which  she  puts  into  my  mouth?  Of 
course  I  have  never  told  her  anything  like  that,  but 
one  of  her  brothers,  the  very  one  who  has  the  great 
est  influence  over  her,  has  been  kind  enough  to  make 
this  remark  about  me.  It  is  then  the  purpose  of 
the  dream  that  this  brother  should  remain  in  the 
right;  and  she  does  not  try  to  justify  this  brother 
merely  in  the  dream;  it  is  her  purpose  in  life  and 
the  motive  for  her  being  ill. 

The  other  motive  for  counter  wish-dreams  is  so 


100  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

clear  that  there  is  danger  of  overlooking  it,  as  for 
some  time  happened  in  my  own  case.  In  the  sexual 
make-up  of  many  people  there  is  a  masochistic  com 
ponent,  which  has  arisen  through  the  conversion  of 
the  aggressive,  sadistic  component  into  its  opposite. 
Such  people  are  called  "ideal"  masochists,  if  they 
seek  pleasure  not  in  the  bodily  pain  which  may  be 
inflicted  upon  them,  but  in  humiliation  and  in 
chastisement  of  the  soul.  It  is  obvious  that  such 
persons  can  have  counter  wish-dreams  and  disagree 
able  dreams,  which,  however,  for  them  are  nothing 
but  wish-fulfillment,  affording  satisfaction  for  their 
masochistic  inclinations.  Here  is  such  a  dream. 
A  young  man,  who  has  in  earlier  years  tormented 
his  elder  brother,  towards  whom  he  was  homosexu- 
ally  inclined,  but  who  had  undergone  a  complete 
change  of  character,  has  the  following  dream,  which 
consists  of  three  parts:  (1)  He  is  "insulted"  by 
his  brother.  (2)  Two  adults  are  caressing  each 
other  with  homosexual  intentions.  (3)  His 
brother  has  sold  the  enterprise  whose  management 
the  young  man  reserved  for  his  own  future.  He 
awakens  from  the  last-mentioned  dream  with  the 
most  unpleasant  feelings,  and  yet  it  is  a  masochis 
tic  wish-dream,  which  might  be  translated:  It 
would  serve  me  quite  right  if  my  brother  were  to 
make  that  sale  against  my  interest,  as  a  punishment 


DREAM  ANALYSIS  101 

for  all  the  torments  which  he  has  suffered  at  my 
hands. 

I  hope  that  the  above  discussion  and  examples 
will  suffice — until  further  objection  can  be  raised — 
to  make  it  seem  credible  that  even  dreams  with  a 
painful  content  are  to  be  analyzed  as  the  fulfill 
ments  of  wishes.  Nor  will  it  seem  a  matter  of 
chance  that  in  the  course  of  interpretation  one  al 
ways  happens  upon  subjects  of  which  one  does  not 
like  to  speak  or  think.  The  disagreeable  sensation 
which  such  dreams  arouse  is  simply  identical  with 
the  antipathy  which  endeavors — usually  with  suc 
cess — to  restrain  us  from  the  treatment  or  discus 
sion  of  such  subjects,  and  which  must  be  overcome 
by  all  of  us,  if,  in  spite  of  its  unpleasantness,  we 
find  it  necessary  to  take  the  matter  in  hand.  But 
this  disagreeable  sensation,  which  occurs  also  in 
dreams,  does  not  preclude  the  existence  of  a  wish; 
every  one  has  wishes  which  he  would  not  like  to  tell 
to  others,  which  he  does  not  want  to  admit  even  to 
himself.  We  are,  on  other  grounds,  justified  in 
connecting  the  disagreeable  character  of  all  these 
dreams  with  the  fact  of  dream  disfigurement,  and 
in  concluding  that  these  dreams  are  distorted,  and 
that  the  wish-fulfillment  in  them  is  disguised  until 
recognition  is  impossible  for  no  other  reason  than 
that  a  repugnance,  a  will  to  suppress,  exists  in  rela- 


102  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

tion  to  the  subject-matter..of  the  dream_£r_in  rela 
tion  to  the  wish  which  the  dream  creates.  Dream 
disfigurement,  then,  turns  out  in  reality  to  be  an  act 
of  _the  censor.  We  shall  take  into  consideration 
everything  which  the  analysis  of  disagreeable 
dreams  has  brought  to  light  if  we  reword  our 
formula  as  follows:  The  .dream  is.  the  (disguised) 
fulfillment  of  a  (suppressed,  repressed)  wish. 

Now  there  still  remain  as  a  particular  species  of 
dreams  with  painful  content,  dreams  of  anxiety, 
the  inclusion  of  which  under  dreams  of  wishing  will 
find  least  acceptance  with  the  uninitiated.  But  I 
can  settle  the  problem  of  anxiety. .dreams  in  very 
short  order ;  for  what  they  may  reveal  is  not  a  new 
aspect  of  the  dream  problem;  it  is  a  question  in 
their  case  of  understanding  neurotic  anxiety  in  geix- 
.eral.  The  fear  which  we  experience  in  the  dream 
is  only  seemingly  explained  by  the  dream  content. 
If  we  subject  the  content  of  the  dream  to  analysis, 
we  become  aware  that  the  dream  fear  is  no  more 
justified  by  the  dream  content  than  the  fear  in  a 
phobia  is  justified  by  the  idea  upon  which  the  phobia 
depends.  For  example,  it  is  true  that  it  is  possible 
to  fall  out  of  a  window,  and  that  some  care  must  be 
exercised  when  one  is  near  a  window,  but  it  is  inex 
plicable  why  the  anxiety  in  the  corresponding 
phobia  is  so  great,  and  why  it  follows  its  victims  to 


DREAM  ANALYSIS  103 

an  extent  so  much  greater  than  is  warranted  by  its 
origin.  The  same  explanation,  then,  which  ap 
plies  to  the  phobia  applies  also  to  the  dream  of 
anxiety.  In  both  cases  the  anxiety  is  only  super.- 

!  1  (_^1£L1  JL\     cl L LclCJllCC  1     vO    "C11C    JdCcX    vvXllOXl    cvC-C/OiHT3t*iAlCiS    1L 

and  comes  from  ano'hcr  source. 

On  account  of  the  intimate  relation  of  dream  fear 
to  neurotic  fear,  discussion  of  the  former  obliges 
me  to  refer  to  the  latter.  In  a  little  essay  on  "The 
Anxiety  Neurosis,"  l  I  maintained  that  neurotic 
.fear  has  its  origin  in  the  sexual  life,  and  corresponds 
to.  a  libido  which  has  been  turned  away  from  its 
object  and  has  not  succeeded  in  being  applied. 
From  this  formula,  which  has  since  proved  its  valid 
ity  more  and  more  clearly,  we  may  deduce  the  con 
clusion  that  the  content  of  anxiety  dreams  is  of- a 
sexual  nature,  the  libido  belonging  to  which  content 
has  been  transformed  into  fear. 

i  See  Selected  Papers  on  Hysteria  and  other  Psychoneuroses,  p.  133, 
translated  by  A.  A.  Brill,  Journal  of  Nervous  and  Mental  Diseases, 
Monograph  Series. 


SEX  IN   DREAMS 

THE  more  one  is  occupied  with  the  solution  of 
dreams,  the  more  willing  one  must  become  to  ac 
knowledge  that  the  majority  of  the  dreams  of  adults 
treat  of  sexual  material  and  give  expression  to  ero 
tic  wishes.  Only  one  who  really  analyzes  dreams, 
that  is  to  say,  who  pushes  forward  from  their  mani 
fest  content  to  the  latent  dream  thoughts,  can  form 
an  opinion  on  this  subject — never  the  person  who  is 
.satisfied  with  registering  the  manifest  content  (as, 
for  example,  Nacke  in  his  works  on  sexual  dreams) . 
Let  us  recognize  at  once  that  this  fact  is  not  to  be 
wondered  at,  but  that  it  is  in  complete  harmony 
with  the  fundamental  assumptions  of  dream  expla 
nation.  No  other  impulse  has  had  to  undergo  so 
much  suppression  from  the  time  of  childhood  as  the 
sex  impulse  in  its  numerous  components,  from  no 
other  impulse  have  survived  so  many  and  such  in 
tense  unconscious  wishes,  which  now  act  in  the 
sleeping  state  in  such  a  manner  as  to  produce 
dreams.  In  dream  interpretation,  this  significance 
of  sexual  complexes  must  never  be  forgotten,  nor 

104 


SEX  IN  DREAMS  105 

must  they,  of  course,  be  exaggerated  to  the  point 
jof  being  considered  exclusive. 

Of  many  dreams  it  can  be  ascertained  by  a  care 
ful  interpretation  that  they  are  even  to  be  taken 
bisexually,  inasmuch  as  they  result  in  an  irrefutable 
secondary  interpretation  in  which  they  realize  Jhom- 
osexiiaL-feelings — that  is,  feelings  that  are  common 
to  the  normal  sexual  activity  of  the  dreaming  per 
son.  But  that  all  dreams  are  to  be  interpreted 
bisexually,  seems  to  me  to  be  a  generalization  as  in 
demonstrable  as  it  is  improbable,  which  J[  should 
not  like  to  support.  Above  all  I  should  not  know 
how  to  dispose  of  the  apparent  fact  that  there  are 
many  dreams  satisfying  other  than — in  the  widest 
sense — erotic  needs,  as  dreams  of  hunger,  thirst, 
convenience,  &c.  Likewise  the  similar  assertions 
"that  behind  every  dream  one  finds  the  death  sen 
tence"  (Stekel),  and  that  every  dream  shows  "a 
continuation  from  the  feminine  to  the  masculine 
line"  (Adler),  seem  to  me  to  proceed  far  beyond 
what  is  admissible  in  the  interpretation  of  dreams. 

We  have  already  asserted  elsewhere  that  dreams 
which  are  conspicuously  innocent  invariably  em 
body  coarse  erotic  wishes,  and  we  might  confirm 
this  by  means  of  numerous  fresh  examples.  But 
many  dreams,  which  appear  indifferent,  and  which 
would  never  be  suspected  of  any  particular  signifi- 


106  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

cance,  can  be  traeecLback,  after  analysis,  t0.-iiDinis- 
takably  sexual  wish-feelings,  which  are  often  of  an 
unexpected  nature.  For  example,  who  would  sus 
pect  a  sexual  wish  in  the  following  dream  until  the 
interpretation  had  been  worked  out?  The  dreamer 
relates :  Between  two  stately  palaces  stands  a  lit 
tle  house.,  receding  somewhat,  whose  doors  are 
closed.  My  wife  leads  me  a  little  way  along  the 
street  up  to  the  little  house,  and  pushes  in  the  door, 
and  then  I  slip  quicldy  and  easily  into  the  interior 
of  a  courtyard  that  slants  obliquely  upwards. 

Any  one  who  has  had  experience  in  the  translat 
ing  of  dreams  will,  of  course,  immediately  perceive 
that  penetrating  into  narrow  spaces,  and  opening 
locked  doors,  belong  to  the  commonest  sexual  sym 
bolism,  and  will  easily  find  in  this  dream  a  represen 
tation  of  attempted  coition  from  behind  (between 
the  two  stately  buttocks  of  the  female  body) .  The 
narrow  slanting  passage  is  of  course  the  vagina;  the 
assistance  attributed  to  the  wife  of  the  dreamer  re 
quires  the  interpretation  that  in  reality  it  is  only 
consideration  for  the  wife  which  is  responsible  for 
the  detention  from  such  an  attempt.  Moreover, 
inquiry  shows  that  on  the  previous  day  a  young  girl 
had  entered  the  household  of  the  dreamer  who  had 
pleased  him,  and  who  had  given  him  the  impression 
that  she  would  not  be  altogether  opposed  to  an  ap- 


SEX  IN  DREAMS  107 

proacfa  of  this  sort.  The  little  house  between  the 
two  palaces  is  taken  from  a  reminiscence  of  the 
Hradschin  in  Prague,  and  thus  points  again  to  the 
girl  who  is  a  native  of  that  city. 

If  with  my  patients  I  emphasize  the  frequency 
of  the  Qedipus  dream— of  having  sexual  intercourse 
with. one^.m.Qth£r — I  get  the  answer:  "I  cannot, 
rernembcr snob  g.  dream. "  Immediately  after 
wards,  however,  there  arises  the  recollection  of  an 
other  disguised  and  indifferent  dream,  which  has 
been  dreamed  repeatedly  by  the  patient,  and  the  an 
alysis  shows  it  to  be  a  dream  of  this  same  content- 
that  is,  another  Oedipus  dream.  I  can  assure  the 
reader  that  veiled  dreams  of  sexual  intercourse  with 
the  mother  are  a  great  deal  more  frequent  than  open 
ones,  to  the same  ..effect* 

There  are  dreams  about  landscapes  and  localities 
in  which  emphasis  is  always  laid  upon  the  assurance: 
1 ' 1 _lia.ve_ Jheen  there  before. ' '  In  ihis_jcase  the  local 
ity,  is  always  the  genital  organ  o£the-niatlier;lt  can 
indeed  be  asserted  with  such  certainty  jodLna  other 
locality  thaL-one.  "has  been  there  before," 

A  large  number  of  dreams,  often  full  of  fear, 
which  are  concerned  with  passing  through  narrow 
spaces  or  with  staying  in  the  water,  are_hased  upon 
fancies  about  the  embryonic  life,  about  the  sojourn 
in  the  mother's  womb^  and  about  the  net  of  birth. 


108  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

The  following  is  the  dream  of  a  young  man  who  in 
his  fancy  has  already  while  in  embryo  taken  ad 
vantage  of  his  opportunity  to  spy  upon  an  act  of 
coition  between  his  parents. 

f( He  is  in  a  deep  shaft,  in  which  there  is  a  window, 
as  in  the  Semmering  Tunnel.  At  first  he  sees  an 
empty  landscape  through  this  window,  and  then  he 
composes  a  picture  into  it,  which  is  immediately  at 
hand  and  which  fills  out  the  empty  space.  The 
picture  represents  a  field  which  is  being  thoroughly 
harrowed  by  an  implement,  and  the  delightful  air, 
the  accompanying  idea  of  hard  work,  and  the  bluish- 
black  clods  of  earth  make  a  pleasant  impression. 
He  then  goes  on  and  sees  a  primary  school  opened 
.  .  .  and  he  is  surprised  that  so  much  attention  is 
devoted  in  it  to  the  sexual  feelings  of  the  child, 
which  makes  him  think  of  me" 

Here  is  a  pretty  water-dream  of  a  female  patient, 
which  was  turned  to  extraordinary  account  in  the 
course  of  treatment. 

At  her  summer  resort  at  the  .  .  .  Lake,  she  hurls 
herself  into  the  dark  water  at  a  place  where  the  pale 
moon  is  reflected  in  the  water. 

Dreams  of  this  sort  are  parturition  dreams ;  their 
interpretation  is  accomplished  by  reversing  the  fact 
reported  in  the  manifest  dream  content;  thus,  in 
stead  of  "throwing  one's  self  into  the  water,"  read 


SEX  IN  DREAMS  109 

"coming  out  of  the  water,"  that  is,  "being  born." 
The  place  from  which  one  is  born  is  recognized  if 
one  thinks  of  the  bad  sense  of  the  French  "la  lune." 
The  pale  moon  thus  becomes  the  white  "bottom" 
(Popo) ,  which  the  child  soon  recognizes  as  the  place 
from  which  it  came.  Now  what  can  be  the  mean 
ing  of  the  patient's  wishing  to  be  born  at  her  sum 
mer  resort?  I  asked  the  dreamer  this,  and  she  an 
swered  without  hesitation:  "Hasn't  the  treatment 
made  me  as  though  I  were  born  again?"  Thus  the 
dream  becomes  an  invitation  to  continue  the  cure 
at  this  summer  resort,  that  is,  to  visit  her  there; 
perhaps  it  also  contains  a  very  bashful  allusion  to 
the  wish  to  become  a  mother  herself.1 

Another  dream  of  parturition,  with  its  interpre 
tation,  I  take  from  the  work  of  E.  Jones.  "She 
stood  at  the  seashore  watching  a  small  boy,  who 
seemed  to  be  hers,  wading  into  the  water.  This  he 
did  till  the  water  covered  him,  and  she  could  only 
see  his  head  bobbing  up  and  down  near  the  surface. 
The  scene  then  changed  to  the  crowded  hall  of  a 

i  It  is  only  of  late  that  I  have  learned  to  value  the  significance  of 
fancies  and  unconscious  thoughts  about  life  in  the  womb.  They 
contain  the  explanation  of  the  curious  fear  felt  by  so  many  people 
of  being  buried  alive,  as  well  as  the  profoundest  unconscious  reason 
for  the  belief  in  a  life  after  death  which  represents  nothing  but  a 
projection  into  the  future  of  this  mysterious  life  before  birth.  The 
act  of  birth,  moreover,  is  the  first  experience  with  fear,  and  is  thus 
the  sowrce  and  model  of  the  emotion  of  fear. 


110  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

hotel.  Her  husband  left  her,  and  she  'entered  into 
conversation  with'  a  stranger"  The  second  half 
of  the  dream  was  discovered  in  the  analysis  to  repre 
sent  a  flight  from  her  husband,  and  the  entering 
into  intimate  relations  with  a  third  person,  behind 
whom  was  plainly  indicated  Mr.  X.'s  brother  men 
tioned  in  a  former  dream.  The  first  part  of  the 
dream  was  a  fairly  evident  birth  phantasy.  In 
dreams  as  in  mythology,  the  delivery  of  a  child  from 
the  uterine  waters  is  commonly  presented  by  dis 
tortion  as  the  entry  of  the  child  into  water;  among 
many  others,  the  births  of  Adonis,  Osiris,  Moses, 
and  Bacchus  are  well-known  illustrations  of  this. 
The  bobbing  up  and  down  of  the  head  in  the  water 
at  once  recalled  to  the  patient  the  sensation  of  quick 
ening  she  had  experienced  in  her  only  pregnancy. 
Thinking  of  the  boy  going  into  the  water  induced 
a  reverie  in  which  she  saw  herself  taking  him  out  of 
the  water,  carrying  him  into  the  nursery,  washing 
him  and  dressing  him,  and  installing  him  in  her 
household. 

The  second  half  of  the  dream,  therefore,  repre 
sents  thoughts  concerning  the  elopement,  which  be 
longed  to  the  first  half  of  the  underlying  latent  con 
tent;  the  first  half  of  the  dream  corresponded  with 
the  second  half  of  the  latent  content,  the  birth 
phantasy.  Besides  this  inversion  in  order,  further 


SEX  IN  DREAMS  ill 

inversioi*s  took  place  in  each  half  of  the  dream. 
In  the  first  half  the  child  entered  the  water,  and 
then  his  head  bobbed;  in  the  underlying  dream 
thoughts  first  the  quickening  occurred,  and  then  the 
child  left  the  water  (a  double  inversion).  In  the 
second  half  her  husband  left  her;  in  the  dream 
thoughts  she  left  her  husband. 

Another  parturition  dream  is  related  by  Abra 
ham  of  a  young  woman  looking  forward  to  her 
first  confinement.  From  a  place  in  the  floor 
of  the  house  a  subterranean  canal  leads  di 
rectly  into  the  water  (parturition  path,  amniotic 
liquor) .  She  lifts  up  a  trap  in  the  floor,  and  there 
immediately  appears  a  creature  dressed  in  a  brown 
ish  fur,  which  almost  resembles  a  seal.  This  crea 
ture  changes  into  the  younger  brother  of  the 
dreamer,  to  whom  she  has  always  stood  in  maternal 
relationship. 

Dreams  of  "saving"  are  connected  with  parturi 
tion  dreams.  To  save,  especially  to  save  from  the 
water,  is  equivalent  to  giving  birth  when  dreamed 
by  a  woman;  this  sense  is,  however,  modified  when 
the  dreamer  is  a  man. 

Robbers,  burglars  at  night,  and  ghosts,  of  which 
we  are  afraid  before  going  to  bed,  and  which  oc 
casionally  even  disturb  our  sleep,  originate  in  one 
and  the  same  childish  reminiscence.  They  are  the 


112  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

nightly  visitors  who  have  awakened  the  child  to  set 
it  on  the  chamber  so  that  it  may  not  wet  the  bed,  or 
have  lifted  the  cover  in  order  to  see  clearly  how  the 
child  is  holding  its  hands  while  sleeping.  I  have 
been  able  to  induce  an  exact  recollection  of  the 
nocturnal  visitor  in  the  analysis  of  some  of  these 
anxiety  dreams.  The  robbers  were  always  the  fa 
ther,  the  ghosts  more  probably  corresponded  to 
feminine  persons  with  white  night-gowns. 

When  one  has  become  familiar  with  the  abun 
dant  use  of  symbolism  for  the  representation  of 
sexual  material  in  dreams,  one  naturally  raises  the 
question  whether  there  are  not  many  of  these  sym 
bols  which  appear  once  and  for  all  with  a  firmly  es 
tablished  significance  like  the  signs  in  stenography ; 
and  one  is  tempted  to  compile  a  new  dream-book 
according  to  the  cipher  method.  In  this  connection 
it  may  be  remarked  that  this  symbolism  does  not 
belong  peculiarly  to  the  dream,  but  rather  to.  un 
conscious  thinking,  particularly  that  of  the  masses, 
and  it  is  to  be  found  in  greater  perfection  in 
the  .folklore,  in  the  myths,  legends,  and  man 
ners  of  speech,  in  the  proverbial  sayings,  and  in 
the  current  witticisms  of  a  nation  than  in  its 
dreams. 

The  dream  takes  advantage  of  this  symbolism  in 
order  to  give  a  disguised  representation  to  its  latent^ 


SEX  IN  DREAMS  118 

thoughts.  Among  the  symbols  which  are  used  in 
this  manner  there  are  of  course  many  which  regu 
larly,  or  almost  regularly,  mean  tne 


Only  it  is  necessary  to  keep  in  mind  the  curious 
plasticity  of  psychic  material.  Now  and  then  a 
symbol  in  the  dream  content  may  have  to  be  in 
terpreted  not  symbolically,  but  according  to  its  real 
meaning;  at  another  time  the  dreamer,  owing  to  a 
peculiar  set  of  recollections,  may  create  for  himself 
the  right  to  use  anything  whatever  as  a  sexual  sym 
bol,  though  it  is  not  ordinarily  used  in  that  way. 
Nor  are  the  most  frequently  used  sexual  symbols 
unambiguous  every  time. 

After  these  limitations  and  reservations  I  may 
call  attention  to  the  following:  .Emperor  and  Em 
press  (King  and  Queen)  in  most  cases  really  repre 
sent  the  parents  of  the  dreamer;  the  dreamer  him 
self  or  herself  is  the  prince  or  princess.  All  elon 
gated  objects,  sticks,  tree-trunks,  and  umbrellas 
(on  account  of  the  stretching-up  which  might  be 
compared  to  an  erection!  all  elongated  and  sharp 
weapons,  knives,  daggers,  and  pikes,  are  intended 
to  represent  the  male  member.  A  frequent,  not 
very  intelligible,  symbol  for  the  same  is  a  nail-file 
(on  account  of  the  rubbing  and  scraping?)  .  Little 
cases,  boxes,  caskets,  closets,  and  stoves  correspond 
to  the  female  part.  The  symbolism  of  lock  and 


114  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

key  has  been  very  gracefully  employed  by  Uhland 
in  his  song  about  the  "Grafen  Eberstein,"  to  make 
a  common  smutty  joke.  The  dream  of  walking 
through  a  row  of  rooms  is  a  brothel  or  harem  dream. 
Staircases,  ladders,  and  flights  of  stairs,  or  climbing 
on  these,  either  upwards  or  downwards,  are  sym 
bolic  representations  of  the  sexual  act.  Smooth 
walls  over  which  one  is  climbing,  fa9ades  of  houses 
upon  which  one  is  letting  oneself  down,  frequently 
under  great  anxiety,  correspond  to  the  erect  hu 
man  body,  and  probably  repeat  in  the  dream  remi 
niscences  of  the  upward  climbing  of  little  children 
on  their  parents  or  foster  parents.  "Smooth" 
walls  are  men.  Often  in  a  dream  of  anxiety  one 
is  holding  on  firmly  to  some  projection  from  a 
house.  Tables,  set  tables,  and  boards  are  women, 
perhaps  on  account  of  the  opposition  which  does 
away  with  the  bodily  contours.  Since  "bed  and 
board"  (mensa  et  thorns)  constitute  marriage,  the 
former  are  often  put  for  the  latter  in  the  dream, 
and  as  far  as  practicable  the  sexual  presentation 
complex  is  transposed  to  the  eating  complex.  Of 
articles  of  dress  the  woman's  hat  may  frequently  be 
definitely  interpreted  as  the  male  genital.  In 
dreams  of  men  one  often  finds  the  cravat  as  a  sym 
bol  for  the  penis;  this  indeed  is  not  only  because 
cravats  hang  down  long,  and  are  characteristic  of 


SEX  IN  DREAMS  115 

the  man,  but  also  because  one  can  select  them  at 
pleasure,  a  freedom  which  is  prohibited  by  nature 
in  the  original  of  the  symbol.  Persons  who  make 
use  of  this  symbol  in  the  dream  are  very  extrava 
gant  with  cravats,  and  possess  regular  collections 
of  them.  All  complicated  machines  and  apparatus 
in  dream  are  very  probably  genitals,  in  the  descrip 
tion  of  which  dream  symbolism  shows  itself  to  be  as 
tireless  as  the  activity  of  wit.  Likewise  many  land 
scapes  in  dreams,  especially  with  bridges  or  with 
wooded  mountains,  can  be  readily  recognized  as 
descriptions  of  the  genitals.  Finally  where  one 
finds  incomprehensible  neologisms  one  may  think 
of  combinations  made  up  of  components  having  a 
sexual  significance.  Children  also  in  the  dream 
often  signify  the  genitals,  as  men  and  women  are 
in  the  habit  of  fondly  referring  to  their  genital 
organ  as  their  "little  one."  As  a  very  recent  sym 
bol  of  the  male  genital  may  be  mentioned  the  flying 
machine,  utilization  of  which  is  justified  by  its  re 
lation  to  flying  as  well  as  occasionally  by  its  form. 
To  play  with  a  little  child  or  to  beat  a  little  one  is 
often  the  dream's  representation  of  onanism.  A 
number  of  other  symbols,  in  part  not  sufficiently 
verified  are  given  by  Stekel,  who  illustrates  them 
with  examples.  Right  and  left,  according  to  him, 
are  to  be  conceived  in  the  dream  in  an  ethical  sense. 


116  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

"The  right  way  always  signifies  the  road  to  right 
eousness,  the  left  the  one  to  crime.  Thus  the  left 
may  signify  homosexuality,  incest,  and  perversion, 
while  the  right  signifies  marriage,  relations  with  a 
prostitute,  &c.  The  meaning  is  always  determined 
by  the  individual  moral  view-point  of  the  dreamer." 
Relatives  in  the  dream  generally  play  the  role  of 
genitals.  Not  to  be  able  to  catch  up  with  a  wagon 
is  interpreted  by  Stekel  as  regret  not  to  be  able  to 
come  up  to  a  difference  in  age.  Baggage  with 
which  one  travels  is  the  burden  of  sin  by  which  one 
is  oppressed.  Also  numbers,  which  frequently 
occur  in  the  dream,  are  assigned  by  Stekel  a  fixed 
symbolical  meaning,  but  these  interpretations  seem 
neither  sufficiently  verified  nor  of  general  validity, 
although  the  interpretation  in  individual  cases  can 
generally  be  recognized  as  probable.  In  a  recently 
published  book  by  W.  Stekel,  Die  Sprache  des 
Traumes,  which  I  was  unable  to  utilize,  there  is  a  list 
of  the  most  common  sexual  symbols,  the  object  of 
which  is  to  prove  that  all  sexual  symbols  can  be 
bisexually  used.  He  states:  "Is  there  a  symbol 
which  (if  in  any  way  permitted  by  the  phantasy) 
may  not  be  used  simultaneously  in  the  masculine 
and  the  feminine  sense!"  To  be  sure  the  clause  in 
parentheses  takes  away  much  of  the  absoluteness 
of  this  assertion,  for  this  is  not  at  all  permitted  by 


SEX  IN  DREAMS  117 

the  phantasy.  I  do  not,  however,  think  it  super 
fluous  to  state  that  in  my  experience  StekeFs  gen 
eral  statement  has  to  give  way  to  the  recognition  of 
a  greater  manifoldness.  Besides  those  symbols, 
which  are  just  as  frequent  for  the  male  as  for  the 
female  genitals,  there  are  others  which  preponder- 
ately,  or  almost  exclusively,  designate  one  of  the 
sexes,  and  there  are  still  others  of  which  only  the 
male  or  only  the  female  signification  is  known.  To 
use  long,  firm  objects  and  weapons  as  symbols  of 
the  female  genitals,  or  hollow  objects  (chests, 
pouches,  &c.),  as  symbols  of  the  male  genitals,  is 
indeed  not  allowed  by  the  fancy. 

It  is  true  that  the  tendency  of  the  dream  and  the 
unconscious  fancy  to  utilize  the  sexual  symbol 
bisexually  betrays  an  archaic  trend,  for  in  child 
hood  a  difference  in  the  genitals  is  unknown,  and 
the  same  genitals  are  attributed  to  both  sexes. 

These  very  incomplete  suggestions  may  suffice 
to  stimulate  others  to  make  a  more  careful  collec 
tion. 

I  shall  now  add  a  few  examples  of  the  application 
of  such  symbolisms  in  dreams,  which  will  serve  to 
showr  how  impossible  it  becomes  to  interpret  a 
dream  without  taking  into  account  the  symbolism 
of  dreams,  and  how  imperatively  it  obtrudes  itself 
in  many  cases. 


118  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

1.  The  hat  as  a  symbol  of  the  man  (of  the  male 
genital)  :  (a  fragment  from  the  dream  of  a  young 
woman  who  suffered  from  agoraphobia  on  account 
of  a  fear  of  temptation) . 

"I  am  walking  in  the  street  in  summer,  I  wear  a 
straw  hat  of  peculiar  shape,  the  middle  piece  of 
which  is  bent  upwards  and  the  side  pieces  of  which 
hang  downwards  (the  description  became  here  ob 
structed),  and  in  such  a  fashion  that  one  is  lower 
than  the  other.  I  am  cheerful  and  in  a  confidential 
mood,  and  as  I  pass  a  troop  of  young  officers  I 
think  to  myself:  None  of  you  can  have  any  de 
signs  upon  me." 

As  she  could  produce  no  associations  to  the  hat, 
I  said  to  her:  "The  hat  is  really  a  male  genital, 
with  its  raised  middle  piece  and  the  two  downward 
hanging  side  pieces."  I  intentionally  refrained 
from  interpreting  those  details  concerning  the  un 
equal  downward  hanging  of  the  two  side  pieces,  al 
though  just  such  individualities  in  the  determina 
tions  lead  the  way  to  the  interpretation.  I 
continued  by  saying  that  if  she  only  had  a  man  with 
such  a  virile  genital  she  would  not  have  to  fear  the 
officers — that  is,  she  would  have  nothing  to  wish 
from  them,  for  she  is  mainly  kept  from  going  with 
out  protection  and  company  by  her  fancies  of  temp 
tation.  This  last  explanation  of  her  fear  I  had  al- 


SEX  IN  DREAMS  119 

ready  been  able  to  give  her  repeatedly  on  the  basis 
of  other  material. 

It  is  quite  remarkable  how  the  dreamer  behaved 
after  this  interpretation.  She  withdrew  her  de 
scription  of  the  hat,  and  claimed  not  to  have  said 
that  the  two  side  pieces  were  hanging  downwards. 
I  was,  however,  too  sure  of  what  I  had  heard  to 
allow  myself  to  be  misled,  and  I  persisted  in  it. 
She  was  quiet  for  a  while,  and  then  found  the  cour 
age  to  ask  why  it  was  that  one  of  her  husband's 
testicles  was  lower  than  the  other,  and  whether  it 
was  the  same  in  all  men.  With  this  the  peculiar 
detail  of  the  hat  was  explained,  and  the  whole  in 
terpretation  was  accepted  by  her.  The  hat  symbol 
was  familiar  to  me  long  before  the  patient  related 
this  dream.  From  other  but  less  transparent  cases 
I  believe  that  the  hat  may  also  be  taken  as  a  female 
genital. 

2.  The  little  one  as  the  genital — to  be  run  over 
as  a  symbol  of  sexual  intercourse  (another  dream 
of  the  same  agoraphobic  patient). 

"Her  mother  sends  away  her  little  daughter  so 
that  she  must  go  alone.  She  rides  with  her  mother 
to  the  railroad  and  sees  her  little  one  walking  di 
rectly  upon  the  tracks,  so  that  she  cannot  avoid 
being  run  over.  She  hears  the  bones  crackle. 
( From  this  she  experiences  a  feeling  of  discomfort 


120  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

but  no  real  horror.)  She  then  looks  out  through 
the  car  window  to  see  whether  the  parts  cannot  be 
seen  behind.  She  then  reproaches  her  mother  for 
allowing  the  little  one  to  go  out  alone."  Analysis. 
It  is  not  an  easy  matter  to  give  here  a  complete  in 
terpretation  of  the  dream.  It  forms  part  of  a  cycle 
of  dreams,  and  can  be  fully  understood  only  in  con 
nection  with  the  others.  For  it  is  not  easy  to  get 
the  necessary  material  sufficiently  isolated  to  prove 
the  symbolism.  The  patient  at  first  finds  that  the 
railroad  journey  is  to  be  interpreted  historically  as 
an  allusion  to  a  departure  from  a  sanatorium  for 
nervous  diseases,  with  the  superintendent  of  which 
she  naturally  was  in  love.  Her  mother  took  her 
away  from  this  place,  and  the  physician  came  to  the 
railroad  station  and  handed  her  a  bouquet  of  flow 
ers  on  leaving;  she  felt  uncomfortable  because  her 
mother  witnessed  this  homage.  Here  the  mother, 
therefore,  appears  as-  a  disturber  of  her  love  affairs, 
which  is  the  role  actually  played  by  this  strict 
woman  during  her  daughter's  girlhood.  The  next 
thought  referred  to  the  sentence:  "She  then  looks 
to  see  whether  the  parts  can  be  seen  behind."  In 
the  dream  f  a£ade  one  would  naturally  be  compelled 
to  think  of  the  parts  of  the  little  daughter  run  over 
and  ground  up.  The  thought,  however,  turns  in 
quite  a  different  direction.  She  recalls  that  she 


SEX  IN  DREAMS  121 

once  saw  her  father  in  the  bath-room  naked  from 
behind;  she  then  begins  to  talk  about  the  sex  differ 
entiation,  and  asserts  that  in  the  man  the  genitals 
can  be  seen  from  behind,  but  in  the  woman  they  can 
not.  In  this  connection  she  now  herself  offers  the 
interpretation  that  the  little  one  is  the  genital,  her 
little  one  (she  has  a  four-year-old  daughter)  her 
own  genital.  She  reproaches  her  mother  for  want 
ing  her  to  live  as  though  she  had  no  genital,  and 
recognizes  this  reproach  in  the  introductory  sen 
tence  of  the  dream ;  the  mother  sends  away  her  lit 
tle  one  so  that  she  must  go  alone.  In  her  phantasy 
going  alone  on  the  street  signifies  to  have  no  man 
and  no  sexual  relations  (coire  =  to  go  together), 
and  this  she  does  not  like.  According  to  all  her 
statements  she  really  suffered  as  a  girl  on  account 
of  the  jealousy  of  her  mother,  because  she  showed 
a  preference  for  her  father. 

The  "little  one"  has  been  noted  as  a  symbol  for 
the  male  or  the  female  genitals  by  Stekel,  who  can 
refer  in  this  connection  to  a  very  widespread  usage 
of  language. 

The  deeper  interpretation  of  this  dream  depends 
upon  another  dream  of  the  same  night  in  which  the 
dreamer  identifies  herself  with  her  brother.  She 
was  a  "tomboy,"  and  was  always  being  told  that  she 
should  have  been  born  a  boy.  This  identification 


122  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

with  the  brother  shows  with  special  clearness  that 
"the  little  one"  signifies  the  genital.  The  mother 
threatened  him  (her)  with  castration,  which  could 
only  be  understood  as  a  punishment  for  playing 
with  the  parts,  and  the  identification,  therefore, 
shows  that  she  herself  had  masturbated  as  a  child, 
though  this  fact  she  now  retained  only  in  memory 
concerning  her  brother.  An  early  knowledge  of 
the  male  genital  which  she  later  lost  she  must  have 
acquired  at  that  time  according  to  the  assertions 
of  this  second  dream.  Moreover  the  second  dream 
points  to  the  infantile  sexual  theory  that  girls  origi 
nate  from  boys  through  castration.  After  I  had 
told  her  of  this  childish  belief,  she  at  once  confirmed 
it  with  an  anecdote  in  which  the  boy  asks  the  girl : 
"Was  it  cut  off?"  to  which  the  girl  replied,  "No,  it's 
always  been  so." 

The  sending  away  of  the  little  one,  of  the  genital, 
in  the  first  dream  therefore  also  refers  to  the  threat 
ened  castration.  Finally  she  blames  her  mother 
for  not  having  been  born  a  boy. 

That  "being  run  over"  symbolizes  sexual  inter 
course  would  not  be  evident  from  this  dream  if  we 
were  not  sure  of  it  from  many  other  sources. 

3.  Representation  of  the  genital  by  structures, 
stairways,  and  shafts.  (Dream  of  a  young  man  in 
hibited  by  a  father  complex.) 


SEX  IN  DREAMS  123 

"He  is  taking  a  walk  with  his  father  in  a  place 
which  is  surely  the  Prater,  for  the  Rotunda  may 
be  seen  in  front  of  which  there  is  a  small  front  struc 
ture  to  which  is  attached  a  captive  balloon;  the 
balloon,  however,  seems  quite  collapsed.  His  fa 
ther  asks  him  what  this  is  all  for;  he  is  surprised  at 
it,  but  he  explains  it  to  his  father.  They  come  into 
a  court  in  which  lies  a  large  sheet  of  tin.  His  fa 
ther  wants  to  pull  off  a  big  piece  of  this,  but  first 
looks  around  to  see  if  any  one  is  watching.  He 
tells  his  father  that  all  he  needs  to  do  is  to  speak 
to  the  watchman,  and  then  he  can  take  without  any 
further  difficulty  as  much  as  he  wants  to.  From 
this  court  a  stairway  leads  down  into  a  shaft,  the 
walls  of  which  are  softly  upholstered  something  like 
a  leather  pocketbook.  At  the  end  of  this  shaft 
there  is  a  longer  platform,  and  then  a  new  shaft  be 
gins.  .  .  ." 

Analysis.  This  dream  belongs  to  a  type  of  pa 
tient  which  is  not  favorable  from  a  therapeutic 
point  of  view.  They  follow  in  the  analysis  with 
out  offering  any  resistances  whatever  up  to  a  certain 
point,  but  from  that  point  on  they  reman  almost  in 
accessible.  This  dream  he  almost  analyzed  him 
self.  "The  Rotunda,"  he  said,  "is  my  genital,  the 
captive  balloon  in  front  is  my  penis,  about  the  weak 
ness  of  which  I  have  worried.  We  must,  however, 


124  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

interpret  in  greater  detail;  the  Rotunda  is  the  but 
tock  which  is  regularly  associated  by  the  child  with 
the  genital,  the  smaller  front  structure  is  the 
scrotum.  In  the  dream  his  father  asks  him  what 
this  is  all  for — that  is,  he  asks  him  about  the  pur 
pose  and  arrangement  of  the  genitals.  It  is  quite 
evident  that  this  state  of  affairs  should  be  turned 
around,  and  that  he  should  be  the  questioner.  As 
such  a  questioning  on  the  side  of  the  father  has 
never  taken  place  in  reality,  we  must  conceive  the 
dream  thought  as  a  wish,  or  take  it  conditionally, 
as  follows:  "If  I  had  only  asked  my  father  for 
sexual  enlightenment."  The  continuation  of  this 
thought  we  shall  soon  find  in  another  place. 

The  court  in  which  the  tin  sheet  is  spread  out  is 
not  to  be  conceived  symbolically  in  the  first  instance, 
but  originates  from  his  father's  place  of  business. 
For  discretionary  reasons  I  have  inserted  the  tin 
for  another  material  in  which  the  father  deals,  with 
out,  however,  changing  anything  in  the  verbal  ex 
pression  of  the  dream.  The  dreamer  had  entered 
his  father's  business,  and  had  taken  a  terrible  dislike 
to  the  questionable  practices  upon  which  profit 
mainly  depends.  Hence  the  continuation  of  the 
above  dream  thought  ("if  I  had  only  asked  him") 
would  be:  "He  would  have  deceived  me  just  as 
he  does  his  customers."  For  the  pulling  off,  which 


SEX  IN  DREAMS  125 

serves  to  represent  commercial  dishonesty,  the 
dreamer  himself  gives  a  second  explanation— 
namely,  onanism.  This  is  not  only  entirely  fa 
miliar  to  us,  but  agrees  very  well  with  the  fact 
that  the  secrecy  of  onanism  is  expressed  by  its 
opposite  ("Why  one  can  do  it  quite  openly").  It, 
moreover,  agrees  entirely  with  our  expectations  that 
the  onanistic  activity  is  again  put  off  on  the  father, 
just  as  was  the  questioning  in  the  first  scene  of 
the  dream.  The  shaft  he  at  once  interprets  as  the 
vagina  by  referring  to  the  soft  upholstering  of  the 
walls.  That  the  act  of  coition  in  the  vagina  is  de 
scribed  as  a  going  down  instead  of  in  the  usual  way 
as  a  going  up,  I  have  also  found  true  in  other  in 
stances.1 

The  details  that  at  the  end  of  the  first  shaft  there 
is  a  longer  platform  and  then  a  new  shaft,  he  him 
self  explains  biographically.  He  had  for  some 
time  consorted  with  women  sexually,  but  had  then 
given  it  up  because  of  inhibitions  and  now  hopes 
to  be  able  to  take  it  up  again  with  the  aid  of  the 
treatment.  The  dream,  however,  becomes  indis 
tinct  toward  the  end,  and  to  the  experienced  in 
terpreter  it  becomes  evident  that  in  the  second  scene 
of  the  dream  the  influence  of  another  subject  has 
begun  to  assert  itself;  in  this  his  father's  business 

i  Cf.  Zentralblatt  fiir  psychoanalyse,  I. 


126  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

and  his  dishonest  practices  signify  the  first  vagina 
represented  as  a  shaft  so  that  one  might  think  of 
a  reference  to  the  mother. 

4.  The  male  genital  symbolized  by  persons  and 
the  female  by  a  landscape. 

(Dream  of  a  woman  of  the  lower  class,  whose 
husband  is  a  policeman,  reported  by  B.  Dattner.) 

.  .  .  Then  some  one  broke  into  the  house  and 
anxiously  called  for  a  policeman.  But  he  went 
with  two  tramps  by  mutual  consent  into  a  church,1 
to  which  led  a  great  many  stairs ; 2  behind  the 
church  there  was  a  mountain,3  on  top  of  which  a 
dense  forest.4  The  policeman  was  furnished  with 
a  helmet,  a  gorget,  and  a  cloak.5  The  two  vag 
rants,  who  went  along  with  the  policeman  quite 
peaceably,  had  tied  to  their  loins  sack-like  aprons.6 
A  road  led  from  the  church  to  the  mountain.  This 
road  was  overgrown  on  each  side  with  grass  and 
brushwood,  which  became  thicker  and  thicker  as  it 
reached  the  height  of  the  mountain,  where  it  spread 
out  into  quite  a  forest. 

5.  A  stairway  dream. 

(Reported  and  interpreted  by  Otto  Rank.) 

1  Or  chapel — vagina* 

2  Symbol   of   coitus.  3  Mons    veneris.  4  Crines    pubis. 
s  Demons  in  cloaks  and  capucines  are,  according  to  the  explanation 

of  a  man  versed  in  the  subject,  of  a  phallic  nature, 
two  halves  of  the  scrotum. 


SEX  IN  DREAMS  127 

For  the  following  transparent  pollution  dream, 
I  am  indebted  to  the  same  colleague  who  furnished 
us  with  the  dental-irritation  dream. 

"I  am  running  down  the  stairway  in  the  stair- 
house  after  a  little  girl,  whom  I  wish  to  punish  be 
cause  she  has  done  something  to  me.  At  the  bot 
tom  of  the  stairs  some  one  held  the  child  for  me. 
(A  grown-up  woman?)  I  grasp  it,  but  do  not 
know  whether  I  have  hit  it,  for  I  suddenly  find 
myself  in  the  middle  of  the  stairway  where  I  prac 
tice  coitus  with  the  child  (in  the  air  as  it  were) .  It 
is  really  no  coitus,  I  only  rub  my  genital  on  her 
external  genital,  and  in  doing  this  I  see  it  very  dis 
tinctly,  as  distinctly  as  I  see  her  head  which  is  lying 
sideways.  During  the  sexual  act  I  see  hanging 
to  the  left  and  above  me  (also  as  if  in  the  air)  two 
small  pictures,  landscapes,  representing  a  house  on 
a  green.  On  the  smaller  one  my  surname  stood  in 
the  place  where  the  painter's  signature  should  be; 
it  seemed  to  be  intended  for  my  birthday  present. 
A  small  sign  hung  in  front  of  the  pictures  to  the 
effect  that  cheaper  pictures  could  also  be  obtained. 
I  then  see  myself  very  indistinctly  lying  in  bed,  just 
as  I  had  seen  myself  at  the  foot  of  the  stairs,  and 
I  am  awakened  by  a  feeling  of  dampness  which 
came  from  the  pollution." 

Interpretation.     The   dreamer   had   been   in   a 


128  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

book-store  on  the  evening  of  the  day  of  the  dream, 
where,  while  he  was  waiting,  he  examined  some  pic 
tures  which  were  exhibited,  which  represented  mo 
tives  similar  to  the  dream  pictures.  He  stepped 
nearer  to  a  small  picture  which  particularly  took 
his  fancy  in  order  to  see  the  name  of  the  artist, 
which,  however,  was  quite  unknown  to  him. 

Later  in  the  same  evening,  in  company,  he  heard 
about  a  Bohemian  servant-girl  who  boasted  that 
her  illegitimate  child  "was  made  on  the  stairs." 
The  dreamer  inquired  about  the  details  of  this  un 
usual  occurrence,  and  learned  that  the  servant -girl 
went  with  her  lover  to  the  home  of  her  parents, 
where  there  was  no  opportunity  for  sexual  rela 
tions,  and  that  the  excited  man  performed  the  act 
on  the  stairs.  In  witty  allusion  to  the  mischievous 
expression  used  about  wine-adulterers,  the  dreamer 
remarked,  "The  child  really  grew  on  the  cellar 
steps." 

These  experiences  of  the  day,  which  are  quite 
prominent  in  the  dream  content,  were  readily  re 
produced  by  the  dreamer.  But  he  just  as  readily 
reproduced  an  old  fragment  of  infantile  recollection 
which  was  also  utilized  by  the  dream.  The  stair- 
house  was  the  house  in  which  he  had  spent  the 
greatest  part  of  his  childhood,  and  in  which  he  had 
first  become  acquainted  with  sexual  problems.  In 


SEX  IN  DREAMS  129 

this  house  he  used,  among  other  things,  to  slide 
down  the  banister  astride  which  caused  him  to  be 
come  sexually  excited.  In  the  dream  he  also  comes 
down  the  stairs  very  rapidly — so  rapidly  that,  ac 
cording  to  his  own  distinct  assertions,  he  hardly 
touched  the  individual  stairs,  but  rather  "flew"  or 
"slid  down,"  as  we  used  to  say.  Upon  reference  to 
this  infantile  experience,  the  beginning  of  the  dream 
seems  to  represent  the  factor  of  sexual  excitement. 
In  the  same  house  and  in  the  adjacent  residence 
the  dreamer  used  to  play  pugnacious  games  with 
the  neighboring  children,  in  which  he  satisfied  him 
self  just  as  he  did  in  the  dream. 

If  one  recalls  from  Freud's  investigation  of  sex 
ual  symbolism  1  that  in  the  dream  stairs  or  climbing 
stairs  almost  regularly  symbolizes  coitus,  the  dream 
becomes  clear.  Its  motive  power  as  well  as  its  ef 
fect,  as  is  shown  by  the  pollution,  is  of  a  purely 
libidinous  nature.  Sexual  excitement  became 
aroused  during  the  sleeping  state  (in  the  dream 
this  is  represented  by  the  rapid  running  or  sliding 
down  the  stairs)  and  the  sadistic  thread  in  this  is, 
on  the  basis  of  the  pugnacious  playing,  indicated  in 
the  pursuing  and  overcoming  of  the  child.  The 
libidinous  excitement  becomes  enhanced  and  urges 
to  sexual  action  (represented  in  the  dream  .by  the 

i  See  Zentralblatt  fur  Psychoanalyse,  vol.  i.,  p.  2. 


130  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

grasping  of  the  child  and  the  conveyance  of  it  to  the 
middle  of  the  stairway).  Up  to  this  point  the 
dream  would  be  one  of  pure,  sexual  symbolism,  and 
obscure  for  the  unpracticed  dream  interpreter. 
But  this  symbolic  gratification,  which  would  have 
insured  undisturbed  sleep,  was  not  sufficient  for 
the  powerful  libidinous  excitement.  The  excite 
ment  leads  to  an  orgasm,  and  thus  the  whole  stair 
way  symbolism  is  unmasked  as  a  substitute  for 
coitus.  Freud  lays  stress  on  the  rhythmical  char 
acter  of  both  actions  as  one  of  the  reasons  for  the 
sexual  utilization  of  the  stairway  symbolism,  and 
this  dream  especially  seems  to  corroborate  this,  for, 
according  to  the  express  assertion  of  the  dreamer, 
the  rhythm  of  a  sexual  act  was-  the  most  pronounced 
feature  in  the  whole  dream. 

Still  another  remark  concerning  the  two  pic 
tures,  which,  aside  from  their-  real  significance,  also 
have  the  value  of  "Weibsbilder"  (literally  woman- 
pictures ,  but  idiomatically  women) .  This  is  at 
once  shown  by  the  fact  that  the  dream  deals  with 
a  big  and  a  little  picture,  just  as  the  dream  content 
presents  a  big  (grown  up)  and  a  little  girl.  That 
cheap  pictures  could  also  be  obtained  points  to  the 
prostitution  complex,  just  as  the  dreamer's  sur 
name  on  the  little  picture  and  the  thought  that  it 
was  intended  for  his  birthday,  point  to  the  parent 


SEX  IN  DREAMS  131 

complex  (to  be  born  on  the  stairway — to  be  con 
ceived  in  coitus). 

The  indistinct  final  scene,  in  which  the  dreamer 
sees  himself  on  the  staircase  landing  lying  in  bed 
and  feeling  wet,  seems  to  go  back  into  childhood 
even  beyond  the  infantile  onanism,  and  manifestly 
has  its  prototype  in  similarly  pleasurable*  scenes  of 
bed-wetting. 

6.  A  modified  stair-dream. 

To  one  of  my  very  nervous  patients,  who  was  an 
abstainer,  whose  fancy  was  fixed  on  his  mother, 
and  who  repeatedly  dreamed  of  climbing  stairs  ac 
companied  by  his  mother,  I  once  remarked  that 
moderate  masturbation  would  be  less  harmful  to 
him  than  enforced  abstinence.  This  influence  pro 
voked  the  following  dream : 

"His-  piano  teacher  reproaches  him  for  neglect 
ing  his  piano-playing,  and  for  not  practicing  the 
Etudes  of  Moscheles  and  dementi's  Gradus  ad 
Parnassum"  In  .relation  to  this  he  remarked  that 
the  Gradus  is  only  a  stairway,  and  that  the  piano 
itself -is  only  a  stairway  as  it  has  a  scale. 

It  is  correct  to  say  that  there  is  no  series  of  as 
sociations  which  cannot  be  adapted  to  the  repre 
sentation  of  sexual  facts.  I  conclude  with  the 
dream  of  a  chemist,  a  young  man,  who  has  been 


132  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

trying  to  giv<e  up  his  habit  of  masturbation  by  re 
placing  it  with  intercourse  with  women. 

Preliminary  statement. — On  the  day  before  the 
dream  he  had  given  a  student  instruction  concern 
ing  Grigriard's  reaction,  in  which  magnesium  is  to 
be  dissolved  in  absolutely  pure  ether  under  the  cat 
alytic  influence  of  iodine.  Two  days  before,  there 
had  been  an  explosion  in  the  course  of  the  same  re 
action,  in  which  the  investigator  had  burned  his 
hand. 

Dream  I.  He  is  to  make  phenylmagnesium- 
bromid;  he  sees  the  apparatus  with  particular  clear 
ness,,  but  he  has  substituted  himself  for  the  mag 
nesium.  He  is  now  in  a  curious  swaying  attitude. 
He  keeps  repeating  to  himself,  "This  is  the  right 
thing,  it  is  working,  my  feet  are  beginning  to  dis 
solve  and  my  knees  are  getting  soft.  Then  he 
reaches  down  and  feels  for  his  feet,  and  meanwhile 
(he  does  not  know  how)  he  takes  his  legs  out  of  the 
crucible,  and  then  again  he  says  to  himself,  "That 
cannot  be.  .  .  .  Yes,  it  must  be  so,  it  has  been  done 
correctly/'  Then  he  partially  awakens,  and  re 
peats  the  dream  to  himself,  because  he  wants  to  tell 
it  to  me.  He  is  distinctly  afraid  of  the  analysis 
of  the  dream.  He  is  much  excited  during  this 
semi-sleeping  state,  and  repeats  continually, 
f(Phenyl,  phenyl!3 


SEX  IN  DREAMS  133 

II.  He  is  in  .  .  .  ing  with  his  whole  family;  at 
half-past  eleven.  He  is  to  be  at  the  Schottenthor 
for  a  rendezvous  with  a  certain  lady,  but  he  does  not 
wake  up  until  half -past  eleven.  He  says  to  him 
self,  "It  is  too  late  now;  when  you-  get  there  it  will 
be  half -past  twelve"  The  next  instant  he  sees  the 
whole  family  gathered  about  the  table — his  mother 
and  the  servant  girl  with  the  soup-tureen  with  par 
ticular  clearness.  Then  he  says  to  himself,  "Well, 
if  we  are  eating  already,  I  certainly  can't  get 
away." 

Analysis:  He  feels  sure  that  even  the  first 
dream  contains  a  reference  to  the  lady  whom  he  is 
to  meet  at  the  rendezvous  (the  dream  was  dreamed 
during  the  night  before  the  expected  meeting) . 
The  student  to  whom  he  gave  the  instruction  is  a 
particularly  unpleasant  fellow;  he  had  said  to  the 
chemist:  "That  isn't  right,"  because  the  magnes 
ium  was  still  unaffected,  and  the  latter  answered  as 
though  he  did  not  care  anything  about  it:  "It  cer 
tainly  isn't  right."  He  himself  must  be  this  stu 
dent;  he  is  as  indifferent  towards  his  analysis  as 
the  student  is  towards  his  synthesis;  the  He  in  the 
dream,  however,  who  accomplishes  the  operation, 
is  myself.  How  unpleasant  he  must  seem  to  me 
with  his  indifference  towards  the  success  achieved! 

Moreover,  he  is  the  material  with  which  the  an- 


134  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

alysis  (synthesis)  is  made.  For  it  is  a  question  of 
the  success  of  the  treatment.  The  legs  in  the 
dream  recall  an  impression  of  the  previous  evening. 
He  met  a  lady  at  a  dancing  lesson  whom  he  wished 
to  conquer;  he  pressed  her  to  him  so  closely  that 
she  once  cried  out.  After  he  had  stopped  pressing 
against  her  legs,  he  felt  her  firm  responding  pres 
sure  against  his  lower  thighs  as  far  as  just  above 
his  knees,  at  the  place  mentioned  in  the  dream.  In 
this  situation,  then,  the  woman  is  the  magnesium  in 
the  retort,  which  is  at  last  working.  He  is  femi 
nine  towards  me,  as  he  is  masculine  towards  the 
woman.  If  it  will  work  with  the  woman,  the  treat 
ment  will  also  work.  Feeling  and  becoming  aware 
of  himself  in  the  region  of  his  knees  refers  to  mas 
turbation,  and  corresponds  to  his  fatigue  of  the 
previous  day.  .  .  .  The  rendezvous  had  actually 
been  set  for  half -past  eleven.  His  wish  to  over 
sleep  and  to  remain  with  his  usual  sexual  objects 
(that  is,  with  masturbation)  corresponds  with  his 
resistance. 


VI 

THE   WISH    IN   DREAMS 

THAT  the  dream  should  be  nothing  but  a  wish-ful 
fillment  surely  seemed  strange  to  us  all — and  that 
not  alone  because  of  the  contradictions  offered  by 
the  anxiety  dream. 

After  learning  from  the  first  analytical  explana 
tions  that  the  dream  conceals  sense  and  psychic 
validity,  we  could  hardly  «expect  so  simple  a  de 
termination  of  this  sense.  According  to  the  correct 
but  concise  definition  of  Aristotle,  the  dream  is  a 
continuation  of  thinking  in  sleep  (in  so  far  as  one 
sleeps) .  Considering  that  during  the  day  our 
thoughts  produce  such  a  diversity  of  psychic  acts 
—judgments,  conclusions,  contradictions,  expecta 
tions,  intentions,  &c. — why  should  our  sleeping 
thoughts  be  forced  to  confine  themselves  to  the  pro 
duction  of  wishes?  Are  there  not,  on  the  contrary, 
many  dreams  that  present  a  different  psychic  act 
in  dream  form,  e.g.,  a  solicitude,  and  is  not  the  very 
transparent  father's  dream  mentioned  above  of 
just  such  a  nature?  From  the  gleam  of  light  fall 
ing  into  his  eyes  while  asleep  the  father  draws  the 

135 


136  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

solicitous  conclusion  that  a  candle  has  been  upset 
and  may  have  set  fire  to  the  corpse;  he  transforms 
this  conclusion  into  a  dream  by  investing  it  with  a 
senseful  situation  enacted  in  the  present  tense. 
What  part  is  played  in  this  dream  by  the  wish- 
fulfillment,  and  which  are  we  to  suspect — the  pre 
dominance  of  the  thought  continued  from,  the  wak 
ing  state  or  of  the  thought  incited  by  the  new  sen 
sory  impression? 

All  these  considerations  are  just,  and  force  us  to 
enter  more  deeply  into  the  part  played  by  the  wish- 
fulfillment  in  the  dream,  and  into  the  significance 
of  the  waking  thoughts  continued  in  sleep. 

It  is  in  fact  the  wish-fulfillment  that  has  already 
induced  us  to  separate  dreams  into  two  groups. 
We  have  found  some  dreams  that  were  plainly 
wish-fulfillments;  and  others  in  which  wish-fulfill 
ment  -could  not  be  recognised,  and  was  frequently 
concealed  by  every  available  means.  In  this  latter 
class  of  dreamjs  we  recognized  the  influence  of  the 
dream  censor.  The  undisguised  wish  dreams  were 
chiefly  found  in  children,  yet  fleeting  open-hearted 
wish  dreams  seemed  (I  purposely  emphasize  this 
word)  to  occur  also  in  adults. 

We  may  now  ask  whence  the  wish  fulfilled  in  the 
dream  originates.  But  to  what  opposition  or  to 
what  diversitv  do  we  refer  this  "whence"?  I  think 


THE  WISH  IN  DREAMS  137 

it  is  to  the  opposition  between  conscious  daily  life 
and  a  psychic  activity  remaining  unconscious  which 
can  only  make  itself  noticeable  during  the  night. 
I  thus  find  a  threefold  possibility  for  the  origin  of 
a  wish.  Firstly,  it  may  have  been  incited  during 
the  day,  and  owing  to  external  circumstances  failed 
to  find  gratification,  there  is  thus  left  for  the  night 
an  acknowledged  but  unfulfilled  wish.  Secondly, 
it  may  come  to  the  surface  during  the  day  but  be 
rejected,  leaving  an  unfulfilled  but  suppressed 
wish.  Or,  thirdly,  it  may  have  no  relation  to  daily 
life,  and  belong  to  those  wishes  that  originate  dur 
ing  the  night  from  the  suppression.  If  we  now 
follow  our  scheme  of  the  psychic  apparatus,  we  can 
localize  a  wish  of  the  first  order  in  the  system  Forec. 
We  may  assume  that  a  wish  of  the  second  order 
has  been  forced  back  from  the  Forec.  system  into 
the  Unc.  system,  where  alone,  if  anywhere,  it  can 
maintain  itself;  while  a  wish-feeling  of  the  third  \ 
order  we  consider  altogether  incapable  of  leaving 
the  Unc.  system.  This  brings  up  the  question 
whether  wishes  arising  from  these  different  sources 
possess  the  same  value  for  the  dream,  and  whether 
they  have  the  same  power  to  incite  a  dream. 

On  reviewing  the  dreams  which  we  have  at  our 
disposal  for  answering  this  question,  we  are  at  once 
moved  to  add  as  a  fourth  source  of  the  dream-wish 


138  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

the  actual  wish  incitements  arising  during  the  night, 
such  as  thirst  and  sexual  desire.  It  then  becomes 
evident  that  the  source  of  the  dream- wish  does  not 
affect  its  capacity  to  incite  a  dream.  That  a  wish 
suppressed  during  the  day  asserts  itself  in  the 
dream  can  be  shown  by  a  great  many  examples,  I 
shall  mention  a  very  simple  example  of  this  class. 
A  somewhat  sarcastic  young  lady,  whose  younger 
friend  has  become  engaged  to  be  married,  is  asked 
throughout  the  day  by  her  acquaintances  whether 
she  knows  and  what  she  thinks  of  the  fiance.  She 
answers  with  unqualified  praise,  thereby  silencing 
her  own  judgment,  as  she  would  prefer  to  tell  the 
truth,  namely,  that  he  is  an  ordinary  person.  The 
following  night  she  dreams  that  the  same  question 
is  put  to  her,  and  that  she  replies  with  the  formula : 
"In  case  of  subsequent  orders  it  will  suffice  to  men 
tion  the  number."  Finally,  we  have  learned  from 
numerous  analyses  that  the  wish  in  all  dreams  that 
have  been  subject  to  distortion  has  been  derived 
from  the  unconscious,  and  has  been  unable  to  come 
to  perception  in  the  waking  state.  Thus  it  would 
appear  that  all  wishes  are  of  the  same  value  and 
force  for  the  dream  formation. 

I  am  at  present  unable  to  prove  that  the  state 
of  affairs  is  really  different,  but  I  am  strongly  in 
clined  to  assume  a  more  stringent  determination  of 


THE  WISH  IN  DREAMS  139 

the  dream- wish.  Children's  dreams  leave  no  doubt 
that  an  unfulfilled  wish  of  the  day  may  be  the  in 
stigator  of  the  dream.  But  we  must  not  forget 
that  it  is,  after  all,  the  wish  of  a  child,  that  it  is  a 
wish-feeling  of  infantile  strength  only.  I  have  a 
strong  doubt  whether  an  unfulfilled  wish  from  the 
day  would  suffice  to  create  a  dream  in  an  adult. 
It  would  rather  seem  that  as  we  learn  to  control  our 
impulses  by  intellectual  activity,  we  more  and  more 
reject  as  vain  the  formation  or  retention  of  such 
intense  wishes  as  are  natural  to  childhood.  In  this, 
indeed,  there  may  be  individual  variations ;  some  re 
tain  the  infantile  type  of  psychic  processes  longer 
than  others.  The  differences  are  here  the  same  as 
those  found  in  the  gradual  decline  of  the  originally 
distinct  visual  imagination. 

In  general,  however,  I  am  of  the  opinion  that 
unfulfilled  wishes  of  the  day  are  insufficient  to  pro 
duce  a  dream  in  adults.  I  readily  admit  that  the 
wish  instigators  originating  in  conscious  like  con 
tribute  towards  the  incitement  of  dreams,  but  that 
is  probably  all.  The  dream  would  not  originate 
if  the  foreconscious  wish  were  not  reinforced  from 
another  source. 

That  source  is  the  unconscious.  I  believe  that 
the  conscious  wish  is  a  dream  inciter  only  if  it  suc 
ceeds  in  arousing  a  similar  unconscious  wish  which 


140  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

reinforces  it.  Following  the  suggestions  obtained 
through  the  psychoanalysis  of  the  neuroses,  I  be 
lieve  that  these  unconscious  wishes  are  always  ac 
tive  and  ready  for  expression  whenever  they  find 
an  opportunity  to  unite  themselves  with  an  emo 
tion  from  conscious  life,  and  that  they  transfer  their 
greater  intensity  to  the  lesser  intensity  of  the  lat 
ter.1  It  may  therefore  seem  that  the  conscious 
wish  alone  has  been  realized  in  a  dream ;  but  a  slight 
peculiarity  in  the  formation  of  this  dream  will  put 
us  on  the  track  of  the  powerful  helper  from  the  un 
conscious.  These  ever  active  and,  as  it  were,  im 
mortal  wishes  from  the  unconscious  recall  the  legend 
ary  Titans  who  from  time  immemorial  have  borne 
the  ponderous  mountains  which  were  once  rolled 
upon  them  by  the  victorious  gods,  and  which  even 
now  quiver  from  time  to  time  from  the  convulsions 
of  their  mighty  limbs ;  I  say  that  these  wishes  found 
in  the  repression  are  of  themselves  of  an  infantile 
origin,  as  we  have  learned  from  the  psychological 

i  They  share  this  character  of  indestructibility  with  all  psychic  acts 
that  are  really  unconscious — that  is,  with  psychic  acts  belonging  to  the 
system  of  the  unconscious  only.  These  paths  are  constantly  open  and 
never  fall  into  disuse ;  they  conduct  the  discharge  of  the  exciting  proc 
ess  as  often  as  it  becomes  endowed  with  unconscious  excitement.  To 
speak  metaphorically  they  suffer  the  same  form  of  annihilation  as  the 
shades  of  the  lower  region  in  the  Odyssey,  who  awoke  to  new  life  the 
moment  they  drank  blood.  The  processes  depending  on  the  forecon- 
scious  system  are  destructible  in  a  different  way.  The  psychotherapy 
of  the  neuroses  is  based  on  this  difference. 


THE  WISH-  IN  DREAMS          141 

investigation  of  the  neuroses.  I  should  like,  there 
fore,  to  withdraw  the  opinion  previously  expressed 
that  it  is  unimportant  whence  the  dream- wish  or 
iginates,  and  replace  it  by  another,  as  follows :  The 
wish  manifested  in  the  dream  must  be  an  infantile 
one.  In  the  adult  it  originates  in  the  Unc.,  while 
in  the  child,  where  no  separation  and  cesor  as  yet 
exist  between  Force,  and  Unc.,  or  where  these  are 
only  in  the  process  of  formation,  it  is  an  unfulfilled 
and  unrepressed  wish  from  the  waking  state.  I 
am  aware  that  this  conception  cannot  be  generally 
demonstrated,  but  I  maintain  nevertheless  that  it 
can  be  frequently  demonstrated,  even  when  it  was 
not  suspected,  and  that  it  cannot  be  generally  re 
futed. 

The  wish-feelings  which  remain  from  the  con 
scious  waking  state  are,  therefore,  relegated  to  the 
background  in  the  dream  formation.  In  the  dream 
content  I  shall  attribute  to  them  only  the  part  -at 
tributed  to  the  material  of  actual  sensations  'during 
sleep.  If  I  now  take  into  account  those  'other 
psychic  instigations  remaining  from  the  waking 
state  which  are  not  wishes,  I  shall  only  ad 
here  to  the  line  mapped  out  for  me  by  this  train  of 
thought.  We  may  succeed  in  provisionally  termi 
nating  the  sum  of  energy  of  our  waking  thoughts 
by  deciding  to  go  to  sleep.  He  is  a  good  sleeper 


142  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

who  can  do  this;  Napoleon  I.  is  reputed  to  have 
been  a  model  of  this  sort.  But  we  do  not  always 
succeed  in  accomplishing  it,  or  in  accomplishing  it 
perfectly.  Unsolved  problems,  harassing  cares, 
overwhelming  impressions  continue  the  thinking  ac 
tivity  even  during  sleep,  maintaining  psychic  pro 
cesses  in  the  system  which  we  have  termed  the  fore- 
conscious.  These  mental  processes  continuing  into 
sleep  may  be  divided  into  the  following  groups: 
1,  That  which  has  not  been  terminated  during  the 
day  owing  to  casual  prevention;  2,  that  which  has 
been  left  unfinished  by  temporary  paralysis  of  our 
mental  power,  i.e.  the  unsolved;  3,  that  which  has 
been  rejected  and  suppressed  during  the  day.  This 
unites  with  a  powerful  group  (4)  formed  by  that 
which  has  been  excited  in  our  Unc.  during  the  day 
by.  the  work  of  the  foreconscious.  Finally,  wre  may 
add  group,  (5)  consisting  of  the  indifferent  and 
hence  unsettled  impressions  of  the  day. 

We  should  not  underrate  the  psychic  intensities 
introduced  into  sleep  by  these  remnants  of  waking 
life,  especially  those  emanating  from  the  group  of 
the  unsolved.  These  excitations  surely  continue 
to  strive  for  expression  during  the  night,  and  we 
may  assume  Avith  equal  certainty  that  the  sleeping 
state  renders  impossible  the  usual  continuation  of 
the  excitement  in  the  foreconscious  and  the  termina- 


THE  WISH  IN  DREAMS  143 

t?on  of  the  excitement  by  its.  becoming  conscious. 
As  far  as  we  can  normally  become  conscious  of  our 
mental  processes,  even  during  the  night,  in  so  far 
we  are  not  asleep.  I  shall  not  venture  to  state 
what  change  is  produced  in  the  Forec.  system  by 
the  sleeping  state,  but  there  is  no  doubt  that  the 
psychological  character  of  sleep  is  essentially  due 
to  the  change  of  energy  in  this  very  system,  which 
also  dominates  the  approach  to  motility,  which  is 
paralyzed  during  sleep.  In  contradistinction  to 
this,  there  seems  to  be  nothing  in  the  psychology  of 
the  -dream  to  warrant  the  assumption  that  -sleep 
produces  any  but  secondary  changes  in  the  condi 
tions  of  the  Unc.  system.  Hence,  for  the  noctur 
nal  excitation  in  the  Forec.  there  remains  no  other 
path  than  that  followed  by  the  wish  excitements 
from  the  Unc.  This  excitation  must  seek  rein 
forcement  from  the  Unc.,  and  follow  the  detours 
of  the  unconscious  excitations,  But  what  is  the 
relation  of  the  foreoonscious  day  remnants  to  the 
dream?  There  is  no  doubt  that  they  penetrate 
abundantly  into  the  dream,  that  they  utilize  the 
dream  content  to  obtrude  themselves  upon  con 
sciousness  even  during  the  night;  indeed,  they  oc 
casionally  even  dominate  the  dream  content,  and 
impel  it  to  continue  the  work  of  the  day;  it  is  also 
certain  that  the  day  remnants  may  just  as  well 


144  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

have  any  other  character  as  that  of  wishes ;  but  it  is 
highly  instructive  and  even  decisive  for  the  theory 
of  wish-fulfillment  to  see  what  conditions  they  must 
comply  with  in  order  to  be  received  into  the  dream. 
Let  us  pick  out  one  of  the  dreams  cited  above  as 
examples,  e.g.,  the  dream  in  which  my  friend  Otto 
seems  to  show,  the  symptoms  of  Basedow's  disease. 
My  friend  Otto's  appearance  occasioned  me  some 
concern  during  the  day,  and  this  worry,  like 
everything  else  referring  to  this  person,  affected 
me.  I  may  also  assume  that  these  feelings  fol 
lowed  me  into  sleep.  I  was  probably  bent  on 
finding  out  what  was  the  matter  with  him. 
In  the  night  my  worry  found  expression  in  the 
dream  which  I  have  reported,  the  content  of  which 
was  not  .only  senseless,  but  failed  to  show  any  wish- 
fulfillment.  But  I  began  to  investigate  for  the 
source  of  this  incongruous  expression  of  the  solici 
tude  felt  during  the  day,  and  analysis  revealed  the 
connection.  I  identified  my  friend  Otto  with  a  cer 
tain  Baron  L.  and  myself  with  a  Professor  R. 
There  was  only  one  explanation  for  my  being  im 
pelled  to  select  just  this  substitution  for  the  day 
thought.  I  must  have  always  been  prepared  in  the 
Unc.  to  identify  myself  with  Professor  R.,  as  it 
meant  the  realization  of  one  of  the  immortal  in 
fantile  wishes,  viz.  that  of  becoming  great.  Re- 


THE  WISH  IN  DREAMS  145 

pulsive  ideas  respecting  my  friend,  that  would  cer 
tainly  have  been  repudiated  in  a  waking  state,  took 
advantage  of  the  opportunity  to  creep  into  the 
dream,  but  the  worry  of  the  day  likewise  found 
some  form  of  expression  through  a  substitution  in 
the  dream  content.  The  day  thought,  which  was 
no  wish  in  itself  but  rather  a  worry,  had  in  some 
way  to  find  a  connection  with  the  infantile  now  un 
conscious  and  suppressed  wish,  which  then  allowed 
it,  though  already  properly  prepared,  to  "origi 
nate"  for  consciousness.  The  more  dominating 
this  worry,  the  stronger  must  be  the  connection  to 
be  established ;  between  the  contents  of  the  wish  and 
that  of  the  worry  there  need  be  no  connection,  nor 
was  there  one  in  any  of  our  examples. 

We  can  now  sharply  define  the  significance  of 
the  unconscious  wish  for  the  dream.  It  may  be 
admitted  that  there  is  a  whole  class  of  dreams  in 
which  the  incitement  originates  preponderatingly 
or  even  exclusively  from  the  remnants  of  daily  life ; 
and  I  believe  that  even  my  cherished  desire  to  be 
come  at  some  future  time  a  "professor  extraordin- 
arius"  would  have  allowed  me  to  slumber  undis 
turbed  that  night  had  not  my  worry  about  my 
friend's  health  been  still  active.  But  this  worry 
alone  would  not  have  produced  a  dream ;  the  motive 
power  needed  by  the  dream  had  .to  be  contributed 


146  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

by  a  wish,  and  it  was  the  affair  of  the  worriment  to 
procure  for  itself  such  wish  as  a  motive  power  of 
the  dream.  To  speak  figuratively,  it  is  quite  pos 
sible  that  a  day  thought  plays  the  part  of  the  con 
tractor  (entrepreneur]  in  the  dream.  But  it  is 
known  that  no  matter  what  idea  the  contractor  may 
have  in  mind,  and  how  desirous  he  may  be  of  put 
ting  it  into  operation,  he  can  do  nothing  without 
capital ;  he  must  depend  upon  a  capitalist  to  defray 
the  necessary  expenses,  and  this  capitalist,  who  sup 
plies  the  psychic  expenditure  for  the  dream  is  in 
variably  and  indisputably  a  wish  from  the  uncon 
scious,  no  matter  what  the  nature  of  the  waking 
thought  may  be. 

In  other  cases  the  capitalist  himself  is  the  con 
tractor  for  the  dream;  this,  indeed,  seems  to  be  the 
more  usual  case.  An  unconscious  wish  is  produced 
by  the  day's  work,  which  in  turn  creates  the  dream. 
The  dream  processes,  moreover,  run  parallel  with 
all  the  other  possibilities  of  the  economic  relation 
ship  used  here  as  an  illustration.  Thus,  the  entre 
preneur  may  contribute  some  capital  himself,  or 
several  entrepreneurs  may  seek  the  aid  of  the  same 
capitalist,  or  several  capitalists  may  jointly  supply 
the  capital  required  by  the  entrepreneur.  Thus 
there  are  dreams  produced  by  more  than  one  dream- 
wish,  and  many  similar  variations  which  may 


THE  WISH  IN  DREAMS          147 

readily  be  passed  over  and  are  of  no  further  interest 
to  us.  What  we  have  left  unfinished  in  this  discus 
sion  of  the  dream-wish  we  shall  be  able  to  develop 
later. 

The  "tertium  comparationis"  in  the  comparisons 
just  employed — i.e.  the  sum  placed  at  our  free  dis 
posal  in  proper  allotment — admits  of  still  finer  ap 
plication  for  the  illustration  of  the  dream  structure. 
We  can  recognize  in  most  dreams  a  center  especially 
supplied  with  perceptible  intensity.  This  is  regu 
larly  the  direct  representation  of  the  wish-fulfill 
ment;  for,  if  we  undo  the  displacements  of  the 
dream-work  by  a  process  of  retrogression,  we  find 
that  the  psychic  intensity  of  the  elements  in  the 
dream  thoughts  is  replaced  by  the  perceptible  in 
tensity  of  the  elements  in  the  dream  content. 
The  elements  adjoining  the  wish-fulfillment  have 
frequently  nothing  to  do  with  its  sense,  but  prove 
to  be  descendants  of  painful  thoughts  which  op 
pose  the  wish.  But,  owing  to  their  frequently 
artificial  connection  with  the  central  element, 
they  have  acquired  sufficient  intensity  to  enable 
them  to  come  to  expression.  Thus,  the  force 
of  expression  of  the  wish-fulfillment  is  dif 
fused  over  a  certain  sphere  of  association,  within 
which  it  raises  to  expression  all  elements,  including 
those  that  are  in  themselves  impotent.  In  dreams 


148  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

having  several  strong  wishes  we  can  readily  sepa 
rate  from  one  another  the  spheres  of  the  individual 
wish-f ul£ilments ;  the  gaps  in  the  dream  likewise 
can  often  be  explained  as  boundary  zones. 

Although  the  foregoing  remarks  have  consider 
ably  limited  the  significance  of  the  day  remnants 
for  the  dream,  it  will  nevertheless  be  worth  our 
while  to  give  them  some  attention.  For  they  must 
be  a  necessary  ingredient  in  the  formation  of  the 
dream,  inasmuch  as  experience  reveals  the  surpris 
ing  fact  that  every  dream  shows  in  its  content  a 
connection  with  some  impression  of  a  recent  day, 
often  of  the  most  indifferent  kind.  So  far  we  have 
failed  to  see  any  necessity  for  this  addition  to  the 
dream  mixture.  This  necessity  appears  only  when 
we  follow  closely  the  part  played  by  the  uncon 
scious  wish,  and  then  seek  information  in  the 
psychology  of  the  neuroses.  We  thus  learn  that 
the  unconscious  idea,  as  such,  is  altogether  incapa 
ble  of  entering  into  the  foreconscious,  and  that  it 
can  exert  an  influence  there  only  by  uniting  with  a 
harmless  idea  already  belonging  to  the  forecon 
scious,  to  which  it  transfers  its  intensity  and  under 
which  it  allows  itself  to  be  concealed.  This  is  the 
fact  of  transference  which  furnishes  an  explana 
tion  for  so  many  surprising  occurrences  in  the 
psychic  life  of  neurotics. 


THE  WISH  IN  DREAMS  149 

The  idea  from  the  foreconseious  which  thus  ob 
tains  an  unmerited  abundance  of  intensity  may  be 
left  unchanged  by  the  transference,  or  it  may  have 
forced  upon  it  a  modification  from  the  content  of 
the  transferring  idea.  I  trust  the  reader  will  par 
don  my  fondness  for  comparisons  from  daily  life, 
but  I  feel  tempted  to  say  that  the  relations  existing 
for  the  repressed  idea  are  similar  to  the  situations 
existing  in  Austria  for  the  American  dentist,  who 
is  forbidden  to  practise  unless  he  gets  permission 
from  a  regular  physician  to  use  his  name  on  the 
public  signboard  and  thus  cover  the  legal  require 
ments.  Moreover,  just  as  it  is  naturally  not  the 
busiest  physicians  who  form  such  alliances  with 
dental  practitioners,  so  in  the  psychic  life  only  such 
foreconscious  or  conscious  ideas  are  chosen  to  cover 
a  repressed  idea  as  have  not  themselves  attracted 
much  of  the  attention  which  is  operative  in  the  fore- 
conscious.  The  unconscious  entangles  with  its  con 
nections  preferentially  either  those  impressions  and 
ideas  of  the  foreconscious  which  have  been  left  un 
noticed  as  indifferent,  or  those  that  have  soon  been 
deprived  of  this  attention  through  rejection.  It  is 
a  familiar  fact  from  the  association  studies  con 
firmed  by  every  experience,  that  ideas  which  have 
formed  intimate  connections  in  one  direction  as 
sume  an  almost  negative  attitude  to  whole  groups 


150  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

of  new  connections.  I  once  tried  from  this  prin 
ciple  to  develop  a  theory  for  hysterical  paralysis. 

If  we  assume  that  the  same  need  for  the  transfer 
ence  of  the  repressed  ideas  which  we  have  learned 
to  know  from  the  analysis  of  the  neuroses  makes 
its  influence  felt  in  the  dream  as  well,  we  can  at  once 
explain  two  riddles  of  the  dream,  viz.  that  every 
dream  analysis  shows  an  interweaving  of  a  recent 
impression,  and  that  this  recent  element  is  fre 
quently  of  the  most  indifferent  character.  We 
may  add  what  we  have  already  learned  elsewhere, 
that  these  recent  and  indifferent  elements  come  so 
frequently  into  the  dream  content  as  a  substitute 
for  the  most  deep-lying  of  the  dream  thoughts,  for 
the  further  reason  that  they  have  least  to  fear  from 
the  resisting  censor.  But  while  this  freedom  from 
censorship  explains  only  the  preference  for  trivial 
elements,  the  constant  presence  of  recent  elements 
points  to  the  fact  that  there  is  a  need  for  transfer 
ence.  Both  groups  of  impressions  satisfy  the  de 
mand  of  the  repression  for  material  still  free  from 
associations,  the  indifferent  ones  because  they  have 
offered  no  inducement  for  extensive  associations, 
and  the  recent  ones  because  they  have  had  insuffi 
cient  time  to  form  such  associations. 

We  thus  see  that  the  day  remnants,  among  which 
we  may  now  include  the  indifferent  impressions 


THE  WISH  IN  DREAMS  151 

when  they  participate  in  the  dream  formation,  not 
only  borrow  from  the  Unc.  the  motive  power  at  the 
disposal  of  the  repressed  wish,  but  also  offer  to  the 
unconscious  something  indispensable,  namely,  the 
attachment  necessary  to  the  transference.  If  we 
here  attempted  to  penetrate  more  deeply  into  the 
psychic  processes,  we  should  first  have  to  throw 
more  light  on  the  play  of  emotions  between  the 
foreconscious  and  the  unconscious,  to  which,  in 
deed,  we  are  urged  by  the  study  of  the  psycho- 
neuroses,  whereas  the  dream  itself  offers  no  assist 
ance  in  this  respect. 

Just  one  further  remark  about  the  day  remnants. 
There  is  no  doubt  that  they  are  the  actual  disturbers 
of  sleep,  and  not  the  dream,  which,  on  the  contrary, 
strives  to  guard  sleep.  But  we  shall  return  to  this 
point  later. 

We  have  so  far  discussed  the  dream-wish,  we 
have  traced  it  to  the  sphere  of  the  Unc.,  and  an 
alyzed  its  relations  to  the  day  remnants,  which  in 
turn  may  be  either  wishes,  psychic  emotions  of  any 
other  kind,  or  simply  recent  impressions.  We  have 
thus  made  room  for  any  claims  that  may  be  made 
for  the  importance  of  conscious  thought  activity  in 
dream  formations  in  all  its  variations.  Relying 
upon  our  thought  series,  it  would  not  be  at  all  im 
possible  for  us  to  explain  even  those  extreme  cases 


152  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

in  which  the  dream  as  a  continuer  of  the  day  work 
brings  to  a  happy  conclusion  and  unsolved  prob 
lem  of  the  waking  state.  We  do  not,  however, 
possess  an  example,  the  analysis  of  which  might  re 
veal  the  infantile  or  repressed  wish  source  furnish 
ing  such  alliance  and  successful  strengthening  of 
the  efforts  of  the  foreconscious  activity.  But  we 
have  not  come  one  step  nearer  a  solution  of  the 
riddle :  Why  can  the  unconscious  furnish  the  mo 
tive  power  for  the  wish-fulfillment  only  during 
sleep?  The  answer  to  this  question  must  throw 
light  on  the  psychic  nature  of  wishes;  and  it  will 
be  given  with  the  aid  of  the  diagram  of  the  psychic 
apparatus. 

We  do  not  doubt  that  even  this  apparatus  at 
tained  its  present  perfection  through  a  long  course 
of  development.  Let  us  attempt  to  restore  it  as 
it  existed  in  an  early  phase  of  its  activity.  From 
assumptions,  to  be  confirmed  elsewhere,  we  know 
that  at  first  the  apparatus  strove  to  keep  as  free 
from  excitement  as  possible,  and  in  its  first  forma 
tion,  therefore,  the  scheme  took  the  form  of  a  re 
flex  apparatus,  which  enabled  it  promptly  to  dis 
charge  through  the  motor  tracts  any  sensible 
stimulus  reaching  it  from  without.  But  this  simple 
function  was  disturbed  by  the  wants  of  life,  which 
likewise  furnish  the  impulse  for  the  further  de- 


THE  WISH  IN  DREAMS  153 

velopment  of  the  apparatus.  The  wants  of  life 
first  manifested  themselves  to  it  in  the  form  of  the 
great  physical  needs.  The  excitement  aroused  by 
the  inner  want  seeks  an  outlet  in  motility,  which 
may  be  designated  as  "inner  changes"  or  as  an  "ex 
pression  of  the  emotions."  The  hungry  child  cries 
or  fidgets  helplessly,  but  its  situation  remains  un 
changed;  for  the  excitation  proceeding  from  an  in 
ner  want  requires,  not  a  momentary  outbreak,  but 
a  force  working  continuously.  A  change  can  oc 
cur  only  if  in  some  way  a  feeling  of  gratification 
is  experienced — which  in  the  case  of  the  child  must 
be  through  outside  help — in  order  to  remove  the 
inner  excitement.  An  essential  constituent  of  this 
experience  is  the  appearance  of  a  certain  perception 
(of  food  in  our  example),  the  memory  picture  of 
which  thereafter  remains  associated  with  the  mem 
ory  trace  of  the  excitation  of  want. 

Thanks  to  the  established  connection,  there  re 
sults  at  the  next  appearance  of  this  want  a  psychic 
feeling  which  revives  the  memory  picture  of  the 
former  perception,  and  thus  recalls  the  former  per 
ception  itself,  i.e.  it  actually  re-establishes  the  situa 
tion  of  the  first  gratification.  We  call  such  a  feel 
ing  a  wish;  the  reappearance  of  the  perception 
constitutes  the  wish-fulfillment,  and  the  full  revival 
of  the  perception  by  the  want  excitement  consti- 


154  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

tutes  the  shortest  road  to  the  wish-fulfillment.  We 
may  assume  a  primitive  condition  of  the  psychic 
apparatus  in  which  this  road  is  really  followed,  i.e. 
where  the  wishing  merges  into  an  hallucination. 
This  first  psychic  activity  therefore  aims  at  an 
identity  of  perception,  i.e.  it  aims  at  a  repetition  of 
that  perception  which  is  connected  with  the  fulfill 
ment  of  the  want. 

This  primitive  mental  activity  must  have  been 
modified  by  bitter  practical  experience  into  a  more 
expedient  secondary  activity.  The  establishment 
of  the  identity  perception  on  the  short  regressive 
road  within  the  apparatus  does  not  in  another  re 
spect  carry  with  it  the  result  which  inevitably  fol 
lows  the  revival  of  the  same  perception  from  with 
out.  The  gratification  does  not  take  place,  and  the 
want  continues.  In  order  to  equalize  the  internal 
with  the  external  sum  of  energy,  the  former  must 
be  continually  maintained,  just  as  actually  hap 
pens  in  the  hallucinatory  psychoses  and  in  the  de 
liriums  of  hunger  which  exhaust  their  psychic  ca 
pacity  in  clinging  to  the  object  desired.  In  order 
to  make  more  appropriate  use  of  the  psychic  force, 
it  becomes  necessary  to  inhibit  the  full  regression 
so  as  to  prevent  it  from  extending  beyond  the  im 
age  of  memory,  whence  it  can  select  other  paths 
leading  ultimately  to  the  establishment  of  the  de- 


THE  WISH  IN  DREAMS          155 

sired  identity  from  the  outer  world.  This  inhibi 
tion  and  consequent  deviation  from  the  excitation 
becomes  the  task  of  a  second  system  which  domi 
nates  the  voluntary  motility,  i.e.  through  whose  ac 
tivity  the  expenditure  of  motility  is  now  devoted 
to  previously  recalled  purposes.  But  this  entire 
complicated  mental  activity  which  works  its  way 
from  the  memory  picture  to  the  establishment  of 
the  perception  identity  from  the  outer  world  merely 
represents  a  detour  which  has  been  forced  upon  the 
wish-fulfillment  by  experience.1  Thinking  is  in 
deed  nothing  but  the  equivalent  of  the  hallucinatory 
wish ;  and  if  the  dream  be  called  a  wish- fulfillment 
this  becomes  self-evident,  as  nothing  but  a  wish  can 
impel  our  psychic  apparatus  to  activity.  The 
dream,  which  in  fulfilling  its  wishes  follows  the 
short  regressive  path,  thereby  preserves  for  us  only 
an  example  of  the  primary  form  of  the  psychic 
apparatus  which  has  been  abandoned  as  inexpedi 
ent.  What  once  ruled  in  the  waking  state  when 
the  psychic  life  was  still  young  and  unfit  seems  to 
have  been  banished  into  the  sleeping  state,  just  as 
we  see  again  in  the  nursery  the  bow  and  arrow,  the 
discarded  primitive  weapons  of  grown-up  human 
ity.  The  dream  is  a  fragment  of  the  abandoned 

i  Le  Lorrain  justly  extols  the  wish- fulfilment  of  the  dream:  "Sans 
fatigue  serieuse,  sans  etre  oblige  de  recourir  a  cette  lutte  oplnatre  et 
longue  qui  use  et  corrode  les  jouissances  poursuivies." 


156  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

psychic  life  of  the  child.  In  the  psychoses  these 
modes  of  operation  of  the  psychic  apparatus,  which 
are  normally  suppressed  in  the  waking  state,  reas 
sert  themselves,  and  then  betray  their  inability  to 
satisfy  our  wants  in  the  outer  world. 

The  unconscious  wish-feelings  evidently  strive  to 
assert  themselves  during  the  day  also,  and  the  fact 
of  transference  and  the  psychoses  teach  us  that  they 
endeavor  to  penetrate  to  consciousness  and  domi 
nate  motility  by  the  road  leading  through  the  sys 
tem  of  the  foreconscious.  It  is,  therefore,  the 
censor  lying  between  the  Unc.  and  the  Forec.,  the 
assumption  of  which  is  forced  upon  us  by  the 
dream,  that  we  have  to  recognize  and  honor  as  the 
guardian  of  our  psychic  health.  But  is  it  not  care 
lessness  on  the  part  of  this  guardian  to  diminish  its 
vigilance  during  the  night  and  to  allow  the  sup 
pressed  emotions  of  the  Unc,  to  come  to  expression, 
thus  again  making  possible  the  hallucinatory  re 
gression?  I  think  not,  for  when  the  critical  guard 
ian  goes  to  rest — and  we  have  proof  that  his  slumber 
is  not  profound — he  takes  care  to  close  the  gate  to 
motility.  No  matter  what  feelings  from  the  other 
wise  inhibited  Unc.  may  roam  about  on  the  scene, 
they  need  not  be  interfered  with ;  they  remain  harm 
less  because  they  are  unable  to  put  in  motion  the 
motor  apparatus  which  alone  can  exert  a  modifying 


THE  WISH  IN  DREAMS          157 

influence  upon  the  outer  world.  Sleep  guarantees 
the  security  of  the  fortress  which  is  under  guard. 
Conditions  are  less  harmless  when  a  displacement 
of  forces  is  produced,  not  through  a  nocturnal 
diminution  in  the  operation  of  the  critical  censor, 
but  through  pathological  enfeeblement  of  the  lat 
ter  or  through  pathological  reinforcement  of  the 
unconscious  excitations,  and  this  while  the  forecon- 
scious  is  charged  with  energy  and  the  avenues  to 
motility  are  open.  The  guardian  is  then  overpow 
ered,  the  unconscious  excitations  subdue  the  Forec. ; 
through  it  they  dominate  our  speech  and  actions, 
or  they  enforce  the  hallucinatory  regression,  thus 
governing  an  apparatus  not  designed  for  them  by 
virtue  of  the  attraction  exerted  by  the  perceptions 
on  the  distribution  of  our  psychic  energy.  We  call 
this  condition  a  psychosis. 

We  are  now  in  the  best  position  to  complete  our 
psychological  construction,  which  has  been  inter 
rupted  by  the  introduction  of  the  two  systems,  Unc. 
and  Forec.  We  have  still,  however,  ample  reason 
for  giving  further  consideration  to  the  wish  as  the 
sole  psychic  motive  power  in  the  dream.  We  have 
explained  that  the  reason  why  the  dream  is  in  every 
case  a  wish  realization  is  because  it  is  a  product  of 
the  Unc.,  which  knows  no  other  aim  in  its  activity 
but  the  fulfillment  of  wishes,  and  which  has  no  other 


158  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

forces  at  its  disposal  but  wish-feelings.  If  we  avail 
ourselves  for  a  moment  longer  of  the  right  to  elab 
orate  from  the  dream  interpretation  such  far-reach 
ing  psychological  speculations,  we  are  in  duty 
bound  to  demonstrate  that  we  are  thereby  bringing 
the  dream  into  a  relationship  which  may  also  com 
prise  other  psychic  structures.  If  there  exists  a 
system  of  the  Unc. — or  something  sufficiently  an 
alogous  to  it  for  the  purpose  of  our  discussion — 
the  dream  cannot  be  its  sole  manifestation;  every 
dream  may  be  a  wish-fulfillment,  but  there  must 
be  other  forms  of  abnormal  wish-fulfillment  be 
side  this  of  dreams.  Indeed,  the  theory  of  all 
psychoneurotic  symptoms  culminates  in  the  prop 
osition  that  they  too  must  be  taken  as  wish-fulfill 
ments  of  the  unconscious.  Our  explanation  makes 
the  dream  only  the  first  member  of  a  group  most 
important  for  the  psychiatrist,  an  understanding 
of  which  means  the  solution  of  the  purely  psycho 
logical  part  of  the  psychiatric  problem.  But  other 
members  of  this  group  of  wish-fulfillments,  e.g., 
the  hysterical  symptoms,  evince  one  essential  qual 
ity  which  I  have  so  far  failed  to  find  in  the  dream. 
Thus,  from  the  investigations  frequently  referred 
to  in  this  treatise,  I  know  that  the  formation  of  an 
hysterical  symptom  necessitates  the  combination  of 
both  streams  of  our  psychic  life.  The  symptom  is 


THE  WISH  IN  DREAMS          159 

not  merely  the  expression  of  a  realized  unconscious 
wish,  but  it  must  be  joined  by  another  wish  from 
the  foreconscious  which  is  fulfilled  by  the  same 
symptom;  so  that  the  symptom  is  at  least  doubly 
determined,  once  by  each  one  of  the  conflicting  sys 
tems.  Just  as  in  the  dream,  there  is  no  limit  to 
further  over-determination.  The  determination 
not  derived  from  the  Unc.  is,  as  far  as  I  can 
see,  invariably  a  stream  of  thought  in  reaction 
against  the  unconscious  wish,  e.g.,  a  self-punish 
ment.  Hence  I  may  say,  in  general,  that  an  hys 
terical  symptom  originates  only  where  two  con 
trasting  wish- fulfillments,  having  their  source  in 
different  psychic  systems,  are  able  to  combine  in 
one  expression.  (Compare  my  latest  formulation 
of  the  origin  of  the  hysterical  symptoms  in  a  treatise 
published  by  the  Zeitschrift  filr  Seocualwissen- 
schaft,  by  Hirschfeld  and  others,  1908).  Ex 
amples  on  this  point  would  prove  of  little  value,  as 
nothing  but  a  complete  unveiling  of  the  complica 
tion  in  question  would  cany  conviction.  I  there 
fore  content  myself  with  the  mere  assertion,  and 
will  cite  an  example,  not  for  conviction  but  for  ex 
plication.  The  hysterical  vomiting  of  a  female 
patient  proved,  on  the  one  hand,  to  be  the  realiza 
tion  of  an  unconscious  fancy  from  the  time  of  pu 
berty,  that  she  might  be  continuously  pregnant  and 


160        DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY; 

have  a  multitude  of  children,  and  this  was  subse 
quently  united  with  the  wish  that  she  might  have 
them  from  as  many  men  as  possible.  Against  this 
immoderate  wish  there  arose  a  powerful  defensive 
impulse.  But  as  the  vomiting  might  spoil  the  pa 
tient's  figure  and  beauty,  so  that  she  would  not  find 
favor  in  the  eyes  of  mankind,  the  symptom  was 
therefore  in  keeping  with  her  punitive  trend  of 
thought,  and,  being  thus  admissible  from  both 
sides,  it  was  allowed  to  become  a  reality.  This  is 
the  same  manner  of  consenting  to  a  wish- fulfillment 
which  the  queen  of  the  Parthians  chose  for  the 
triumvir  Crassus.  Believing  that  he  had  under 
taken  the  campaign  out  of  greed  for  gold,  she 
caused  molten  gold  to  be  poured  into  the  throat  of 
the  corpse.  "Now  hast  thou  what  thou  hast  longed 
for."  As  yet  we  know  of  the  dream  only  that  it 
expresses  a  wish-fulfillment  of  the  unconscious ;  and 
apparently  the  dominating  foreconscious  permits 
this  only  after  it  has  subjected  the  wish  to  some 
distortions.  We  are  really  in  no  position  to 
demonstrate  regularly  a  stream  of  thought  antag 
onistic  to  the  dream-wish  which  is  realized  in  the 
dream  as  in  its  counterpart.  Only  now  and  then 
have  we  found  in  the  dream  traces  of  reaction  for 
mations,  as,  for  instance,  the  tenderness  toward 
friend  R.  in  the  "uncle  dream."  But  the  contribu- 


THE  WISH  IN  DREAMS          161 

tion  from  the  foreconscious,  which  is  missing  here, 
may  be  found  in  another  place.  While  the  domi 
nating  system  has  withdrawn  on  the  wish  to  sleep, 
the  dream  may  bring  to  expression  with  manifold 
distortions  a  wish  from  the  Unc.,  and  realize  this 
wish  by  producing  the  necessary  changes  of  energy 
in  the  psychic  apparatus,  and  may  finally  retain 
it  through  the  entire  duration  of  sleep.1 

This  persistent  wish  to  sleep  on  the  part  of  the 
foreconscious  in  general  facilitates  the  formation 
of  the  dream.  Let  us  refer  to  the  dream  of  the  fa 
ther  who,  by  the  gleam  of  light  from  the  death 
chamber,  was  brought  to  the  conclusion  that  the 
body  has  been  set  on  fire.  We  have  shown  that 
one  of  the  psychic  forces  decisive  in  causing  the  fa 
ther  to  form  this  conclusion,  instead  of  being  awak 
ened  by  the  gleam  of  light,  was  the  wish  to  ^prolong 
the  life  of  the  child  seen  in  the  dream  by  one  mo 
ment.  Other  wishes  proceeding  from  the  repres 
sion  probably  escape  us,  because  we  are  unable  to 
analyze  this  dream.  But  as  a  second  motive  power 
of  the  dream  we  may  mention  the  father's  desire  to 
sleep,  for,  like  the  life  of  the  child,  the  sleep  of  the 
father  is  prolonged  for  a  moment  by  the  dream. 
The  underlying  motive  is:  "Let  the  dream  go  on, 

i  This  idea  has  been  borrowed  from  Tke(  Theory  of  Sleep  by 
Liebault,  who  revived  hypnotic  investigation  in  our  days.  (Du  Som- 
meil  provoque,  etc.;  Paris,  1889.) 


162  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

otherwise  I  must  wake  up."  As  in  this  dream  so 
also  in  all  other  dreams,  the  wish  to  sleep  lends  its 
support  to  the  unconscious  wish.  We  reported 
dreams  which  were  apparently  dreams  of  con 
venience.  But,  properly  speaking,  all  dreams 
may  claim  this  designation.  The  efficacy  of  the 
wish  to  continue  to  sleep  is  the  most  easily  rec 
ognized  in  the  waking  dreams,  which  so  transform 
the  objective  sensory  stimulus  as  to  render  it  com 
patible  with  the  continuance  of  sleep;  they  inter 
weave  this  stimulus  with  the  dream  in  order  to  rob  it 
of  any  claims  it  might  make  as  a  warning  to  the 
outer  world.  But  this  wish  to  continue  to  sleep 
must  also  participate  in  the  formation  of  all  other 
dreams  which  may  disturb  the  sleeping  state  from 
within  only.  "Now,  then,  sleep  on;  why,  it's  but 
a  dream";  this  is  in  many  cases  the  suggestion  of 
the  Forec.  to  consciousness  when  the  dream  goes 
too  far ;  and  this  also  describes  in  a  general  way  the 
attitude  of  our  dominating  psychic  activity  toward 
dreaming,  though  the  thought  remains  tacit.  I 
must  draw  the  conclusion  that  throughout  our  en 
tire  sleeping  state  we  are  just  as  certain  that  we  are 
dreaming  as  we  are  certain  that  we  are  sleeping. 
We  are  compelled  to  disregard  the  objection  urged 
against  this  conclusion  that  our  consciousness  is 
never  directed  to  a  knowledge  of  the  former,  and 


THE  WISH  IN  DREAMS          163 

that  it  is  directed  to  a  knowledge  of  the  latter  only 
on  special  occasions  when  the  censor  is  unexpectedly 
surprised.  Against  this  objection  we  may  say  that 
there  are  persons  who  are  entirely  conscious  of  their 
sleeping  and  dreaming,  and  who  are  apparently 
endowed  with  the  conscious  faculty  of  guiding  their 
dream  life.  Such  a  dreamer,  when  dissatisfied  with 
the  course  taken  by  the  dream,  breaks  it  off  without 
awakening,  and  begins  it  anew  in  order  to  con 
tinue  it  with  a  different  turn,  like  the  popular 
author  who,  on  request,  gives  a  happier  ending  to 
his  play.  Or,  at  another  time,  if  placed  by  the 
dream  in  a  sexually  exciting  situation,  he  thinks  in 
his  sleep:  "I  do  not  care  to  continue  this  dream 
and  exhaust  myself  by  a  pollution;  I  prefer  to  de 
fer  it  in  favor  of  a  real  situation." 


VII 

THE   FUNCTION    OF   THE   DREAM 

SINCE  we  know  that  the  foreconscious  is  suspended 
during  the  night  by  the  wish  to  sleep,  we  can  pro 
ceed  to  an  intelligent  investigation  of  the  dream 
process.  But  let  us  first  sum  up  the  knowledge 
of  this  process  already  gained.  We  have  shown 
that  the  waking  activity  leaves  day  remnants  from 
which  the  sum  of  energy  cannot  be  entirely  re 
moved;  or  the  waking  activity  revives  during  the 
day  one  of  the  unconscious  wishes;  or  both  condi 
tions  occur  simultaneously;  we  have  already  dis 
covered  the  many  variations  that  may  take  place. 
The  unconscious  wish  has  already  made  its  way  to 
the  day  remnants,  either  during  the  day  or  at  any 
rate  with  the  beginning  of  sleep,  and  has  effected  a 
transference  to  it.  This  produces  a  wish  trans 
ferred  to  the  recent  material,  or  the  suppressed  re 
cent  wish  comes  to  life  again  through  a  reinforce 
ment  from  the  unconscious.  This  wish  now 
endeavors  to  make  its  way  to  consciousness  on  the 
normal  path  of  the  mental  processes  through  the 
foreconscious,  to  which  indeed  it  belongs  through 

164 


FUNCTION  OF  THE  DREAM      165 

one  of  its  constituent  elements.  It  is  confronted, 
however,  by  the  censor,  which  is  still  active,  and  to 
the  influence  of  which  it  now  succumbs.  It  now 
takes  on  the  distortion  for  which  the  way  has  al 
ready  been  paved  by  its  transference  to  the  recent 
material.  Thus  far  it  is  in  the  way  of  becoming 
something  resembling  an  obsession,  delusion,  or  the 
like,  i.e.  a  thought  reinforced  by  a  transference  and 
distorted  in  expression  by  the  censor.  But  its  fur 
ther  progress  is  now  checked  through  the  dormant 
state  of  the  f oreconscious ;  this  system  has  appar 
ently  protected  itself  against  invasion  by  diminish 
ing  its  excitements.  The  dream  process,  therefore, 
takes  the  regressive  course,,  which  has  just  been 
opened  by  the  peculiarity  of  the  sleeping  state,  and 
thereby  follows  the  attraction  exerted  on  it  by  the 
memory  groups,  which  themselves  exist  in  part  only 
as  visual  energy  not  yet  translated  into  terms  of 
the  later  systems.  On  its  way  to  regression  the 
dream  takes  on  the  form  of  dramatization.  The 
subject  of  compression  will  be  discussed  later. 
The  dream  process  has  now  terminated  the  second 
part  of  its  repeatedly  impeded  course.  The  first 
part  expended  itself  progressively  from  the  uncon 
scious  scenes  or  phantasies  to  the  foreconscious, 
while  the  second  part  gravitates  from  the  advent  of 
the  censor  back  to  the  perceptions.  But  when  the 


166  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

dream  process  becomes  a  content  of  perception  it 
has,  so  to  speak,  eluded  the  obstacle  set  up  in  the 
Force,  by  the  censor  and  by  the  sleeping  state.  It 
succeeds  in  drawing  attention  to  itself  and  in  being 
noticed  by  consciousness.  For  consciousness,  which 
means  to  us  a  sensory  organ  for  the  reception  of 
psychic  qualities,  may  receive  stimuli  from  two 
sources — first,  from  the  periphery  of  the  entire  ap 
paratus,  viz.  from  the  perception  system,  and,  sec 
ondly,  from  the  pleasure  and  pain  stimuli,  which 
constitute  the  sole  psychic  quality  produced  in  the 
transformation  of  energy  within  the  apparatus. 
All  other  processes  in  the  system,  even  those  in 
the  foreconscious,  are  devoid  of  any  psychic  quality, 
and  are  therefore  not  objects  of  consciousness  inas 
much  as  they  do  not  furnish  pleasure  or  pain  for 
perception.  We  shall  have  to  assume  that  those 
liberations  of  pleasure  and  pain  automatically  regu 
late  the  outlet  of  the  occupation  processes.  But  in 
order  to  make  possible  more  delicate  functions,  it 
was  later  found  necessary  to  render  the  course  of 
the  presentations  more  independent  of  the  mani 
festations  of  pain.  To  accomplish  this  the  Force, 
system  needed  some  qualities  of  its  own  which 
could  attract  consciousness,  and  most  probably  re 
ceived  them  through  the  connection  of  the  forecon 
scious  processes  with  the  memory  system  of  the 


FUNCTION  OF  THE  DREAM      167 

signs  of  speech,  which  is  not  devoid  of  qualities. 
Through  the  qualities  of  this  system,  consciousness, 
which  had  hitherto  been  a  sensory  organ  only  for 
the  perceptions,  now  becomes  also  a  sensory  organ 
for  a  part  of  our  mental  processes.  Thus  we  have 
now,  as  it  were,  two  sensory  surfaces,  one  directed 
to  perceptions  and  the  other  to  the  foreconscious 
mental  processes. 

I  must  assume  that  the  sensory  surface  of  con 
sciousness  devoted  to  the  Forec.  is  rendered  less  ex 
citable  by  sleep  than  that  directed  to  the  P-systems. 
The  giving  up  of  interest  for  the  nocturnal  mental 
processes  is  indeed  purposeful.  Nothing  is  to  dis 
turb  the  mind;  the  Forec.  wants  to  sleep.  But 
once  the  dream  becomes  a  perception,  it  is  then  cap 
able  of  exciting  consciousness  through  the  qualities 
thus  gained.  The  sensory  stimulus  accomplishes 
what  it  was  really  destined  for,  namely,  it  directs  a 
part  of  the  energy  at  the  disposal  of  the  Forec.  in 
the  form  of  attention  upon  the  stimulant.  We 
must,  therefore,  admit  that  the  dream  invariably 
awakens  us,  that  is,  it  puts  into  activity  a  part  of 
the  dormant  force  of  the  Forec.  This  force  im 
parts  to  the  dream  that  influence  which  we  have 
designated  as  secondary  elaboration  for  the  sake 
of  connection  and  comprehensibility.  This  means 
that  the  dream  is  treated  by  it  like  any  other  con- 


168  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

tent  of  perception;  it  is  subjected  to  the  same  ideas 
of  expectation,  as  far  at  least  as  the  material  admits. 
As  far  as  the  direction  is  concerned  in  this  third 
part  of  the  dream,  it  may  be  said  that  here  again 
the  movement  is  progressive. 

To  avoid  misunderstanding,  it  will  not  be  amiss 
to  say  a  few  words  about  the  temporal  peculiarities 
of  these  dream  processes.  In  a  very  interesting 
discussion,  apparently  suggested  by  Maury's  puz 
zling  guillotine  dream,  Goblet  tries  to  demonstrate 
that  the  dream  requires  no  other  time  than  the 
transition  period  between  sleeping  and  awakening. 
The  awakening  requires  time,  as  the  dream  takes 
place  during  that  period.  One  is  inclined  to  be 
lieve  that  the  final  picture  of  the  dream  is  so  strong 
that  it  forces  the  dreamer  to  awaken ;  but,  as  a  mat 
ter  of  fact,  this  picture  is  strong  only  because  the 
dreamer  is  already  very  near  awakening  when  it 
appears.  "Un  reve  c'est  un  reveil  qui  commence." 

It  has  already  been  emphasized  by  Dugas  that 
Goblet  was  forced  to  repudiate  many  facts  in  order 
to  generalize  his  theory.  There  are,  moreover, 
dreams  from  which  we  do  not  awaken,  e.g.,  some 
dreams  in  which  we  dream  that  we  dream.  From 
our  knowledge  of  the  dream-work,  we  can  by  no 
means  admit  that  it  extends  only  over  the  period  of 
awakening.  On  the  contrary,  we  must  consider  it 


FUNCTION  OF  THE  DREAM      169 

probable  that  the  first  part  of  the  dream-work  be 
gins  during  the  day  when  we  are  still  under  the 
domination  of  the  foreconscious.  The  second 
phase  of  the  dream-work,  viz.  the  modification 
through  the  censor,  the  attraction  by  the  uncon 
scious  scenes,  and  the  penetration  to  perception 
must  continue  throughout  the  night.  And  we  are 
probably  always  right  when  we  assert  that  we  feel 
as  though  we  had  been  dreaming  the  whole  night, 
although  we  cannot  say  what.  I  do  not,  however, 
think  it  necessary  to  assume  that,  up  to  the  time  of 
becoming  conscious,  the  dream  processes  really  fol 
low  the  temp,Qxal  sequence  which  we  have  described, 
viz.  that  there  is  first  the  transferred  dream-wish, 
then  the  distortion  of  the  censor,  and  consequently 
the  change  of  direction  to  regression,  and  so  on. 
We  were  forced  to  form  such  a  succession  for  the 
sake  of  description;  in  reality,  however,  it  is  much 
rather  a  matter  of  simultaneously  trying  this  path 
and  that,  and  of  emotions  fluctuating  to  and  fro, 
until  finally,  owing  to  the  most  expedient  distribu 
tion,  one  particular  grouping  is  secured  which  re 
mains.  From  certain  personal  experiences,  I  am 
myself  inclined  to  believe  that  the  dream-work  often 
requires  more  than  one  day  and  one  night  to  pro 
duce  its  result ;  if  this  be  true,  the  extraordinary  art 
manifested  in  the  construction  of  the  dream  loses 


170  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

all  its  marvels.  In  my  opinion,  even  the  regard  for 
compreherisibility  as  an  occurrence  of  perception 
may  take  effect  before  the  dream  attracts  conscious 
ness  to  itself.  To  be  sure,  from  now  on  the  process 
is  accelerated,  as  the  dream  is  henceforth  subjected 
to  the  same  treatment  as  any  other  perception.  It 
is  like  fireworks,  which  require  hours  of  preparation 
and  only  a  moment  for  ignition. 

Through  the  dream- work  the  dream  process  now 
gains  either  sufficient  intensity  to  attract  conscious 
ness  to  itself  and  arouse  the  foreconscious,  which  is 
quite  independent  of  the  time  or  profundity  of 
sleep,  or,  its  intensity  being  insufficient  it  must  wait 
until  it  meets  the  attention  which  is  set  in  motion 
immediately  before  awakening.  Most  dreams 
seem  to  operate  with  relatively  slight  psychic  in 
tensities,  for  they  wait  for  the  awakening.  This, 
however,  explains  the  fact  that  we  regularly  per 
ceive  something  dreamt  on  being  suddenly  aroused 
from  a  sound  sleep.  Here,  as  well  as  in  spontane 
ous  awakening,  the  first  glance  strikes  the  precep- 
tion  content  created  by  the  dream-work,  while  the 
next  strikes  the  one  produced  from  without. 

But  of  greater  theoretical  interest  are  those 
dreams  which  are  capable  of  waking  us  in  the  midst 
of  sleep.  We  must  bear  in  mind  the  expediency 
elsewhere  universally  demonstrated,  and  ask  our- 


FUNCTION  OF  THE  DREAM     171 

selves  why  the  dream  or  the  unconscious  wish  has 
the  power  to  disturb  sleep,  i.e.  the  fulfillment  of 
the  foreconscious  wish.  This  is  probably  due  to 
certain  relations  of  energy  into  which  we  have  no  in 
sight.  If  we  possessed  such  insight  we  should 
probably  find  that  the  freedom  given  to  the  dream 
and  the  expenditure  of  a  certain  amount  of  de 
tached  attention  represent  for  the  dream  an  eco 
nomy  in  energy,  keeping  in  view  the  fact  that  the 
unconscious  must  be  held  in  check  at  night  just  as 
during  the  day.  We  know  from  experience  that 
the  dream,  even  if  it  interrupts  sleep,  repeatedly 
during  the  same  night,  still  remains  compatible  with 
sleep.  We  wake  up  for  an  instant,  and  immedi 
ately  resume  our  sleep.  It  is  like  driving  off  a  fly 
during  sleep,  we  awake  ad  hoc,  and  when  we  re 
sume  our  sleep  we  have  removed  the  disturbance. 
As  demonstrated  by  familiar  examples  from  the 
sleep  of  wet  nurses,  &c.,  the  fulfillment  of  the  wish 
to  sleep  is  quite  compatible  with  the  retention  of  a 
certain  amount  of  attention  in  a  given  direction. 

But  we  must  here  take  cognizance  of  an  objection 
that  is  based  on  a  better  knowledge  of  the  uncon 
scious  processes.  Although  we  have  ourselves  de 
scribed  the  unconscious  wishes  as  always  active,  we 
have,  nevertheless,  asserted  that  they  are  not  suffi 
ciently  strong  during  the  day  to  make  themselves 


172  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

perceptible.  But  when  we  sleep,  and  the  uncon 
scious  wish  has  shown  its  power  to  form  a  dream, 
and  with  it  to  awaken  the  foreconscious,  why,  then, 
does  this  power  become  exhausted  after  the  dream 
has  been  taken  cognizance  of?  Would  it  not  seem 
more  probable  that  the  dream  should  continually 
renew  itself,  like  the  troublesome  fly  which,  when 
driven  away,  takes  pleasure  in  returning  again  and 
again?  What  justifies  our  assertion  that  the  dream 
removes  the  disturbance  of  sleep? 

That  the  unconscious  wishes  always  remain  ac 
tive  is  quite  true.  They  represent  paths  which  are 
passable  whenever  a  sum  of  excitement  makes  use 
of  them.  Moreover,  a  remarkable  peculiarity  of 
the  unconscious  processes  is  the  fact  that  they  re 
main  indestructible.  Nothing  can  be  brought  to 
an  end  in  the  unconscious;  nothing  can  cease  or  be 
forgotten.  This  impression  is  most  strongly  gained 
in  the  study  of  the  neuroses,  especially  of  hysteria. 
The  unconscious  stream  of  thought  which  leads  to 
the  discharge  through  an  attack  becomes  passable 
again  as  soon  as  there  is  an  accumulation  of  a  suffi 
cient  amount  of  excitement.  The  mortification 
brought  on  thirty  years  ago,  after  having  gained  ac 
cess  to  the  unconscious  affective  source,  operates 
during  all  these  thirty  years  like  a  recent  one. 
Whenever  its  memory  is  touched,  it  is  revived  and 


FUNCTION  OF  THE  DREAM      173 

shows  itself  to  be  supplied  with  the  excitement 
which  is  discharged  in  a  motor  attack.  It  is  just 
here  that  the  office  of  psychotherapy  begins,  its  task 
being  to  bring  about  adjustment  and  forgetfulness 
for  the  unconscious  processes.  Indeed,  the  fading 
of  memories  and  the  flagging  of  affects,  which  we 
are  apt  to  take  as  self-evident  and  to  explain  as  a 
primary  influence  of  time  on  the  psychic  memories, 
are  in  reality  secondary  changes  brought  about  by 
painstaking  work.  It  is  the  foreconscious  that  ac 
complishes  this  work;  and  the  only  course  to  be 
pursued  by  psychotherapy  is  .the  subjugate  the 
Unc,  to  the  domination  of  the  Forec. 

There  are,  therefore,  two  exits  for  the  individual 
unconscious  emotional  process.  It  is  either  left  to 
itself,  in  which  case  it  ultimately  breaks  through 
somewhere  and  secures  for  once  a  discharge  for  its 
excitation  into  motility;  or  it  succumbs  to  the  in 
fluence  of  the  foreconscious,  and  its  excitation  be 
comes  confined  through  this  influence  instead  of 
being  discharged.  It  is  the  latter  process  that  oc 
curs  in  the  dream.  Owing  to  the  fact  that  it  is 
directed  by  the  conscious  excitement,  the  energy 
from  the  Forec.,  which  confronts  the  dream  when 
grown  to  perception,  restricts  the  unconscious  ex 
citement  of  the  dream  and  renders  it  harmless  as  a 
disturbing  factor.  When  the  dreamer  wakes  up 


174  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

for  a  moment,  he  has  actually  chased  away  the  fly 
that  has  threatened  to  disturb  his  sleep.  We  can 
now  understand  that  it  is  really  more  expedient  and 
economical  to  give  full  sway  to  the  unconscious 
wish,  and  clear  its  way  to  regression  so  that  it  may 
form  a  dream,  and  then  restrict  and  adjust  this 
dream  by  means  of  a  small  expenditure  of  forecon- 
scious  labor,  than  to  curb  the  unconscious  through 
out  the  entire  period  of  sleep.  We  should,  indeed, 
expect  that  the  dream,  even  if  it  was  not  originally 
an  expedient  process,  would  have  acquired  some 
function  in  the  play  of  forces  of  the  psychic  life. 
We  now  see  what  this  function  is.  The  dream  has 
taken  it  upon  itself  to  bring  the  liberated  excitement 
of  the  Unc.  back  under  the  domination  of  the  fore- 
conscious;  it  thus  affords  relief  for  the  excitement 
of  the  Unc.  and  acts  as  a  safety-valve  for  the  latter, 
and  at  the  same  time  it  insures  the  sleep  of  the 
foreconscious  at  a  slight  expenditure  of  the  waking 
state.  Like  the  other  psychic  formations  of  its 
group,  the  dream  offers  itself  as  a  compromise  serv 
ing  simultaneously  both  systems  by  fulfilling  both 
wishes  in  so  far  as  they  are  compatible  with  each 
other.  A  glance  at  Robert's  "elimination  theory," 
will  show  that  we  must  agree  with  this  author  in 
his  main  point,  viz.  in  the  determination  of  the  func 
tion  of  the  dream,  though  we  differ  from  him  in 


FUNCTION  OF  THE  DREAM      175 

our  hypotheses  and  in  our  treatment  of  the  dream 
process. 

The  above  qualification — in  so  far  as  the  two 
wishes  are  compatible  with  each  other — contains  a 
suggestion  that  there  may  be  cases  in  which  the 
function  of  the  dream  suffers  shipwreck.  The 
dream  process  is  in  the  first  instance  admitted  as  a 
wish-fulfillment  of  the  unconscious,  but  if  this  tenta 
tive  wish-fulfillment  disturbs  the  foreconscious  to 
such  an  extent  that  the  latter  can  no  longer  main 
tain  its  rest,  the  dream  then  breaks  the  compromise 
and  fails  to  perform  the  second  part  of  its  task. 
It  is  then  at  once  broken  off,  and  replaced  by  com 
plete  wakefulness.  Here,  too,  it  is  not  really  the 
fault  of  the  dream,  if,  while  ordinarily  the  guardian 
of  sleep,  it  is  here  compelled  to  appear  as  the  dis 
turber  of  sleep,  nor  should  this  cause  us  to  entertain 
any  doubts  as  to  its  efficacy.  This  is  not  the  only 
case  in  the  organism  in  which  an  otherwise  effica 
cious  arrangement  became  inefficacious  and  disturb 
ing  as  soon  as  some  element  is  changed  in  the  con 
ditions  of  its  origin;  the  disturbance  then  serves  at 
least  the  new  purpose  of  announcing  the  change, 
and  calling  into  play  against  it  the  means  of  ad 
justment  of  the  organism.  In  this  connection,  I 
naturally  bear  in  mind  the  case  of  the  anxiety 
dream,  and  in  order  not  to  have  the  appearance  of 


176  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

trying  to  exclude  this  testimony  against  the  theory 
of  wish-fulfillment  wherever  I  encounter  it,  I  will 
attempt  an  explanation  of  the  anxiety  dream,  at 
least  offering  some  suggestions. 

That  a  psychic  process  developing  anxiety  may 
still  be  a  wish-fulfillment  has  long  ceased  to  impress 
us  as  a  contradiction.  We  may  explain  this  oc 
currence  by  the  fact  that  the  wish  belongs  to  one 
system  (the  Unc.),  while  by  the  other  system  (the 
Forec.) ,  this  wish  has  been  rejected  and  suppressed. 
The  subjection  of  the  Unc.  by  the  Forec.  is  not 
complete  even  in  perfect  psychic  health;  the  amount 
of  this  suppression  shows  the  degree  of  our  psychic 
normality.  Neurotic  symptoms  show  that  there  is 
a  conflict  between  the  two  systems;  the  symptoms 
are  the  results  of  a  compromise  of  this  conflict,  and 
they  temporarily  put  an  end  to  it.  On  the  one 
hand,  they  afford  the  Unc.  an  outlet  for  the  dis 
charge  of  its  excitement,  and  serve  it  as  a  sally 
port,  while,  on  the  other  hand,  they  give  the  Forec. 
the  capability  of  dominating  the  Unc.  to  some  ex 
tent.  It  is  highly  instructive  to  consider,  e.g.,  the 
significance  of  any  hysterical  phobia  or  of  an  ago 
raphobia.  Suppose  a  neurotic  incapable  of  cross 
ing  the  street  alone,  which  we  would  justly  call  a 
"symptom."  We  attempt  to  remove  this  symp 
tom  by  urging  him  to  the  action  which  he  deems 


FUNCTION  OF  THE  DREAM      177 

himself  incapable  of.  The  result  will  be  an  attack 
of  anxiety,  just  as  an  attack  of  anxiety  in  the  street 
has  often  been  the  cause  of  establishing  an  ago 
raphobia.  We  thus  learn  that  the  symptom  has 
been  constituted  in  order  to  guard  against  the  out 
break  of  the  anxiety.  The  phobia  is  thrown  before 
the  anxiety  like  a  fortress  on  the  frontier. 

Unless  we  enter  into  the  part  played  by  the  af 
fects  in  these  processes,  which  can  be  done  here  only 
imperfectly,  we  cannot  continue  our  discussion. 
Let  us  therefore  advance  the  proposition  that  the 
reason  why  the  suppression  of  the  unconscious  be 
comes  absolutely  necessary  is  because,  if  the  dis 
charge  of  presentation  should  be  left  to  itself,  it 
would  develop  an  affect  in  the  Unc.  which  originally 
bore  the  character  of  pleasure,  but  which,  since  the 
appearance  of  the  repression,  bears  the  character 
of  pain.  The  aim,  as  well  as  the  result,  of  the  sup 
pression  is  to  stop  the  development  of  this  pain^ 
The  suppression  extends  over  the  unconscious  idea 
tion,  because  the  liberation  of  pain  might  emanate 
from  the  ideation.  The  foundation  is  here  laid  for 
a  very  definite  assumption  concerning  the  nature 
of  the  affective  development.  It  is  regarded  as  a 
motor  or  secondary  activity,  the  key  to  the  innerva- 
tion  of  which  is  located  in  the  presentations  of  the 
Unc.  Through  the  domination  of  the  Force. 


178  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

these  presentations  become,  as  it  were,  throttled 
and  inhibited  at  the  exit  of  the  emotion-developing 
impulses.  The  danger,  which  is  due  to  the  fact 
that  the  Force,  ceases  to  occupy  the  energy,  there 
fore  consists  in  the  fact  that  the  unconscious  excita 
tions  liberate  such  an  affect  as — in  consequence  of 
the  repression  that  has  previously  taken  place — can 
only  be  perceived  as  pain  or  anxiety. 

This  danger  is  released  through  the  full  sway  of 
the  dream  process.  The  determinations  for  its  re 
alization  consist  in  the  fact  that  repressions  have 
taken  place,  and  that  the  suppressed  emotional 
wishes  shall  become  sufficiently  strong.  They  thus 
stand  entirely  without  the  psychological  realm  of 
the  dream  structure.  Were  it  not  for  the  fact  that 
our  subject  is  connected  through  just  one  factor, 
namely,  the  freeing  of  the  Unc.  during  sleep,  with 
the  subject  of  the  development  of  anxiety,  I  could 
dispense  with  discussion  of  the  anxiety  dream,  and 
thus  avoid  all  obscurities  connected  with  it. 

As  I  have  often  repeated,  the  theory  of  the  anx 
iety  belongs  to  the  psychology  of  the  neuroses.  I 
would  say  that  the  anxiety  in  the  dream  is  an  anx 
iety  problem  and  not  a  dream  problem.  We  have 
nothing  further  to  do  with  it  after  having  once 
demonstrated  its  point  of  contact  with  the  subject 
of  the  dream  process.  There  is  only  one  thing  left 


FUNCTION  OF  THE  DREAM      179 

for  me  to  do.  As  I  have  asserted  that  the  neurotic 
anxiety  originates  from  sexual  sources,  I  can  sub 
ject  anxiety  dreams  to  analysis  in  order  to  demon 
strate  the  sexual  material  in  their  dream  thoughts. 

For  good  reasons  I  refrain  from  citing  here  any 
of  the  numerous  examples  placed  at  my  disposal  by 
neurotic  patients,  but  prefer  to  give  anxiety  dreams 
from  young  persons. 

Personally,  I  have  had  no  real  anxiety  dream  for 
decades,  but  I  recall  one  from  my  seventh  or  eighth 
year  which  I  subjected  to  interpretation  about 
thirty  years  later.  The  dream  was  very  vivid,  and 
showed  me  my  beloved  mother,  with  peculiarly  calm 
sleeping  countenance,  carried  into  the  room  and 
laid  on  the  bed  by  two  (or  three  )  persons  with 
birds'  beaks.  I  awoke  crying  and  screaming,  and* 
disturbed  my  parents.  The  very  tall  figures — 
draped  in  a  peculiar  manner — with  beaks,  I  had 
taken  from  the  illustrations  of  Philippson's  bible; 
I  believe  they  represented  deities  with  heads  of 
sparrowhawks  from  an  Egyptian  tomb  relief,  The 
analysis  also  introduced  the  reminiscence  of  a 
naughty  janitor's  boy,  who  used  to  play  with  us 
children  on  the  meadow  in  front  of  the  house;  I 
would  add  that  his  name  was  Philip.  I  feel  that  I 
first  heard  from  this  boy  the  vulgar  word  signifying 
sexual  intercourse,  which  is  replaced  among  the  ed- 


180  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

ucated  by  the  Latin  "coitus,"  but  to  which  the 
dream  distinctly  alludes  by  the  selection  of  the 
birds'  heads.  I  must  have  suspected  the  sexual 
significance  of  the  word  from  the  facial  expression 
of  my  worldly-wise  teacher.  My  mother's  fea 
tures  in  the  dream  were  copied  from  the  counte 
nance  of  my  grandfather,  whom  I  had  seen  a  few 
days  before  his  death  snoring  in  the  state  of  coma. 
The  interpretation  of  the  secondary  elaboration  in 
the  dream  must  therefore  have  been  that  my  mother 
was  dying;  the  tomb  relief,  too,  agrees  with  this. 
In  this  anxiety  I  awoke,  and  could  not  calm  myself 
until  I  had  awakened  my  parents.  I  remember 
that  I  suddenly  became  calm  on  coming  face  to 
face  with  my  mother,  as  if  I  needed  the  assurance 
that  my  mother  was  not  dead.  But  this  secondary 
interpretation  of  the  dream  had  been  effected  only 
under  the  influence  of  the  developed  anxiety.  I 
was  not  frightened  because  I  dreamed  that  my 
mother  was  dying,  but  I  interpreted  the  dream  -in 
this  manner  in  the  foreconscious  elaboration  because 
I  was  already  under  the  domination  of  the  anxiety. 
The  latter,  however,  could  be  traced  by  means  of 
the  repression  to  an  obscure  obviously  sexual  de 
sire,  which  had  found  its  satisfying  expression  in 
the  visual  content  of  the  dream. 

A  man  twenty-seven  years  old  who  had  been  se- 


FUNCTION  OF  THE  DREAM      181 

verely  ill  for  a  year  had  had  many  terrifying  dreams 
between  the  ages  of  eleven  and  thirteen.  He 
thought  that  a  man  with  an  ax  was  running  after 
him ;  he  wished  to  run,  but  felt  paralyzed  and  could 
not  move  from  the  spot.  This  may  be  taken  as  a 
good  example  of  a  very  common,  and  apparently 
sexually  indifferent,  anxiety  dream.  In  the  an 
alysis  the  dreamer  first  thought  of  a  story  told  him 
by  his  uncle,  which  chronologically  was  later  than 
the  dream,  viz.  that  he  was  attacked  at  night  by  a 
suspicious-looking  individual.  This  occurrence 
led  him  to  believe  that  he  himself  might  have  al 
ready  heard  of  a  similar  episode  at  the  time  of  the 
dream.  In  connection  with  the  ax  he  recalled  that 
during  that  period  of  his  life  he  once  hurt  his  hand 
with  an  ax  while  chopping  wood.  This  immedi 
ately  led  to  his  relations  with  his  younger  brother, 
whom  he  used  to  maltreat  and  knock  down.  In 
particular,  he  recalled  an  occasion  when  he  struck 
his  brother  on  the  head  with  his  boot  until  he  bled, 
whereupon  his  mother  remarked:  "I  fear  he  will 
kill  him  some  day."  While  he  was  seemingly 
thinking  of  the  subject  of  violence,  a  reminiscence 
from  his  ninth  year  suddenly  occurred  to  him.  His 
parents  came  home  late  and  went  to  bed  while  he 
was  feigning  sleep.  He  soon  heard  panting  and 
other  noises  that  appeared  strange  to  him,  and  he 


182  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

could  also  make  out  the  position  of  his  parents  in 
bed.  His  further  associations  showed  that  he  had 
established  an  analogy  between  this  relation  be 
tween  his  parents  and  his  own  relation  toward  his 
younger  brother.  He  subsumed  what  occurred  be 
tween  his  parents  under  the  conception  "violence 
and  wrestling,"  and  thus  reached  a  sadistic  concep 
tion  of  the  coitus  act,  as  often  happens  among  chil 
dren.  The  fact  that  he  often  noticed  blood  on  his 
mother's  bed  corroborated  his  conception. 

That  the  sexual  intercourse  of  adults  appears 
strange  to  children  who  observe  it,  and  arouses  fear 
in  them,  I  dare  say  is  a  fact  of  daily  experience.  I 
have  explained  this  fear  by  the  fact  that  sexual  ex 
citement  is  not  mastered  by  their  understanding, 
and  is  probably  also  inacceptable  to  them  because 
their  parents  are  involved  in  it.  For  the  same  rea 
son  this  excitement  is  converted  into  fear.  At  a 
still  earlier  period  of  life  sexual  emotion  directed 
toward  the  parent  of  opposite  sex  does  not  meet 
with  repression  but  finds  free  expression,  as  we 
have  seen  before. 

For  the  night  terrors  with  hallucinations  (pavor 
nocturnus)  frequently  found  in  children,  I  would 
unhesitatingly  give  the  same  explanation.  Here, 
too,  we  are  certainly  dealing  with  the  incomprehen 
sible  and  rejected  sexual  feelings,  which,  if  noted, 


FUNCTION  OF  THE  DREAM      183 

would  probably  show  a  temporal  periodicity,  for  an 
enhancement  of  the  sexual  libido  may  just  as  well 
be  produced  accidentally  through  emotional  im 
pressions  as  through  the  spontaneous  and  gradual 
processes  of  development. 

I  lack  the  necessary  material  to  sustain  these  ex 
planations  from  observation.  On  the  other  hand, 
the  pediatrists  seem  to  lack  the  point  of  view  which 
alone  makes  comprehensible  the  whole  series  of 
phenomena,  on  the  somatic  as  well  as  on  the  psychic 
side.  To  illustrate  by  a  comical  example  how  one 
wearing  the  blinders  of  medical  mythology  may 
miss  the  understanding  of  such  cases  I  will  relate  a 
case  which  I  found  in  a  thesis  on  pavor  nocturnus 
by  Debacker,  1881.  A  thirteen-year-old  boy  of 
delicate  health  began  to  become  anxious  and 
dreamy;  his  sleep  became  restless,  and  about  once 
a  week  it  was  interrupted  by  an  acute  attack  of 
anxiety  with  hallucinations.  The  memory  of  these 
dreams  was  invariably  very  distinct.  Thus,  he  re 
lated  that  the  devil  shouted  at  him:  "Now  we 
have  you,  now  we  have  you,"  and  this  was  followed 
by  an  odor  of  sulphur;  the  fire  burned  his  skin. 
This  dream  aroused  him,  terror-stricken.  He  was 
unable  to  scream  at  first;  then  his  voice  returned, 
and  he  was  heard  to  say  distinctly:  "No,  no,  not 
me;  why,  I  have  done  nothing,"  or,  "Please  don't, 


184  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

I  shall  never  do  it  again."  Occasionally,  also,  he 
said:  "Albert  has  not  done  that."  Later  he 
avoided  undressing,  because,  as  he  said,  the  fire  at 
tacked  him  only  when  he  was  undressed.  From 
amid  these  evil  dreams,  which  menaced  his  health, 
he  was  sent  into  the  country,  where  he  recovered 
within  a  year  and  a  half,  but  at  the  age  of  fifteen 
he  once  confessed:  "Je  n'osais  pas  1'avouer,  mais 
j'eprouvais  continuellement  des  picotements  et  des 
surexcitations  aux  parties;  a  la  fin,  cela  m'enervait 
tant  que  plusieurs  fois,  j'ai  pense  me  Jeter  par  la 
fenetre  au  dortoir." 

It  is  certainly  not  difficult  to  suspect:  1,  that 
the  boy  had  practiced  masturbation  in  former 
years,  that  he  probably  denied  it,  and  was  threat 
ened  with  severe  punishment  for  his  wrongdoing 
(his  confession:  Je  ne  le  ferai  plus;  his  denial:  Al 
bert  n'a  jamais  fait  9a).  2,  That  under  the  pres 
sure  of  puberty  the  temptation  to  self-abuse 
through  the  tickling  of  the  genitals  was  reawak 
ened.  3,  That  now,  however,  a  struggle  of  repres 
sion  arose  in  him,  suppressing  the  libido  and  chang 
ing  it  into  fear,  which  subsequently  took  the  form 
of  the  punishments  with  which  he  was  then  threat 
ened. 

Let  us,  however,  quote  the  conclusions  drawn  by 
our  author.  This  observation  shows:  1,  That 


FUNCTION  OF  THE  DREAM      185 

the  influence  of  puberty  may  produce  in  a  boy 
of  delicate  health  a  condition  of  extreme  weakness, 
and  that  it  may  lead  to  a  very  marked  cerebral 
anaemia. 

2.  This  cerebral  anaemia  produces  a  transforma 
tion  of  character,  demonomaniacal  hallucinations, 
and  very  violent  nocturnal,  perhaps  also  diurnal, 
states  of  anxiety. 

3.  Demonomania  and  the  self-reproaches  of  the 
day  can  be  traced  to  the  influences  of  religious  ed 
ucation  which  the  subject  underwent  as  a  child. 

4.  All  manifestations  disappeared  as  a  result  of 
a  lengthy  sojourn  in  the  country,  bodily  exercise, 
and  the  return  of  physical  strength  after  the  termi 
nation  of  the  period  of  puberty. 

5.  A  predisposing  influence  for  the  origin  of  the 
cerebral  condition  of  the  boy  may  be  attributed  to 
heredity  and  to  the  father's  chronic  syphilitic  state. 

The  concluding  remarks  of  the  author  read: 
"Nous  avons  fait  entrer  cette  observation  dans  le 
cadre  des  delires  apyretiques  d'inanition,  car  c'est 
a  rischemie  cerebrale  que  nous  rattachons  cet  etat 
particulier." 


VIII 

THE  PRIMARY  AND  SECONDARY  PROCESS — REGRESSION 

IN  venturing  to  attempt  to  penetrate  more  deeply 
into  the  psychology  of  the  dream  processes,  I  have 
undertaken  a  difficult  task,  to  which,  indeed,  my 
power  of  description  is  hardly  equal.  To  repro 
duce  in  description  by  a  succession  of  words  the 
simultaneousness  of  so  complex  a  chain  of  events, 
and  in  doing  so  to  appear  unbiassed  throughout  the 
exposition,  goes  fairly  beyond  my  powers.  I  have 
now  to  atone  for  the  fact  that  I  have  been  unable 
in  my  description  of  the  dream  psychology  to  fol 
low  the  historic  development  of  my  views.  The 
view-points  for  my  conception  of  the  dream  were 
reached  through  earlier  investigations  in  the  psy 
chology  of  the  neuroses,  to  which  I  am  not  supposed 
to  refer  here,  but  to  which  I  am  repeatedly  forced 
to  refer,  whereas  I  should  prefer  to  proceed  in  the 
opposite  direction,  and,  starting  from  the  dream,  to 
establish  a  connection  with  the  psychology  of  the 
neuroses.  I  am  well  aware  of  all  the  inconven 
iences  arising  for  the  reader  from  this  difficulty, 
but  I  know  of  no  way  to  avoid  them. 

186 


THE  PROCESS—  REGRESSION     187 

As  I  am  dissatisfied  with  this  state  of  affairs,  I 
am  glad  to  dwell  upon  another  view-point  which 
seems  to  raise  the  value  of  my  efforts.  As  has 
been  shown  in  the  introduction  to  the  first  chaper, 
I  found  myself  confronted  with  a  theme  which  had 
been  marked  by  the  sharpest  contradictions  on  the 
part  of  the  authorities.  After  our  elaboration  of 
the  dream  problems  we  found  room  for  most  of 
these  contradictions.  We  have  been  forced,  how 
ever,  to  take  decided  exception  to  two  of  the  views 
pronounced,  viz.  thaJLJJie-JJi^ai^^ 
that  it  is  a  somatic  process;  apart  from  these  cases 
we  have  had  to  accept  all  the  contradictory  views 
in  one  place  or  another  of  the  complicated  argu 
ment,  and  we  have  been  able  to  demonstrate  that 
they  had  discovered  something  that  was  correct. 
That  the  dream  continues  the  impulses  and  inter 
ests  of  the  waking  state  has  been  quite  generally 
confirmed  through  the  discovery  of  the  latent 
thoughts  of  the  dream.  These  thoughts  concern 
themselves  only  with  things  that  seem  important 
and  of  momentous  interest  to  us.  The  dream  never 
occupies  itself  with  trifles.  But  we  have  also  con 
curred  with  the  contrary  view,  viz.,  tj 


gathers  up  the  indifferent  remnants  from  thejday, 
and  that  not  until  it  has  in  some  measure  withdrawn 
itself  from  the  waking  activity  can  an  important 


188  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

event  of  the  day  be  taken  up  by  the  dream.  We 
found  this  holding  true  for  the  dream  content, 
which  gives  the  dream  thought  its  changed  expres 
sion  by  means  of  disfigurement.  We  have  said 
that  from  the  nature  of  the  association  mechanism 
the  dream  process  more  easily  takes  possession  of 
recent  or  indifferent  material  which  has  not  yet 
been  seized  by  the  waking  mental  activity;  and  by 
reason  of  the  censor  it  transfers  the  psychic  intens 
ity  from  the  important  but  also  disagreeable  to  the 
indifferent  material.  The  hypermnesia  of  the 
dream  and  the  resort  to  infantile  material  have  be 
come  main  supports  in  our  theory.  In  our  theory 
of  the  dream  we  have  attributed  to  the  wish  origi 
nating  from  the  infantile  the  part  of  an  indispensa 
ble  motor  for  the  formation  of  the  dream.  We 
naturally  could  not  think  of  doubting  the  experi 
mentally  demonstrated  significance  of  the  objective 
sensory  stimuli  during  sleep;  but  we  have  brought 
this  material  into  the  same  relation  to  the  dream- 
wish  as  the  thought  remnants  from  the  waking  ac 
tivity.  There  was  no  need  of  disputing  the  fact 
that  the  dream  interprets  the  objective  sensory 
stimuli  after  the  manner  of  an  illusion ;  but  we  have 
supplied  the  motive  for  this  interpretation  which 
has  been  left  undecided  by  the  authorities.  The 
interpretation  follows  in  such  a  manner  that  the 


THE  PROCESS— REGRESSION     189 

perceived  object  is  rendered  harmless  as  a  sleep  dis 
turber  and  becomes  available  for  the  wish-fulfill 
ment.  Though  we  do  not  admit  as  special  sources 
of  the  dream  the  subjective  state  of  excitement  of 
the  sensory  organs  during  sleep,  which  seems  to 
have  been  demonstrated  by  Trumbull  Ladd,  we 
are  nevertheless  able  to  explain  this  excitement 
through  the  regressive  revival  of  active  memories 
behind  the  dream.  A  modest  part  in  our  concep 
tion  has  also  been  assigned  to  the  inner  organic 
sensations  which  are  wont  to  be  taken  as  the  cardi 
nal  point  in  the  explanation  of  the  dream.  These 
—the  sensation  of  falling,  flying,  or  inhibition- 
stand  as  an  ever  ready  material  to  be  used  by  the 
dream-work  to  express  the  dream  thought  as  often 
as  need  arises. 

That  the  dream  process  is  a  rapid  and  momentary 
one  seems  to  be  true  for  the  perception  through  con 
sciousness  of  the  already  prepared  dream  content; 
the  preceding  parts  of  the  dream  process  probably 
take  a  slow,  fluctuating  course.  We  have  solved 
the  riddle  of  the  superabundant  dream  content  com 
pressed  within  the  briefest  moment  by  explaining 
that  this  is  due  to  the  appropriation  of  almost  fully 
formed  structures  from  the  psychic  life.  That  the 
dream  is  disfigured  and  distorted  by  memory  we 
found  to  be  correct,  but  not  troublesome,  as  this  is 


190  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

only  the  last  manifest  operation  in  the  work  of  dis 
figurement  which  has  been  active  from  the  begin 
ning  of  the  dream-work.  In  the  bitter  and  seem 
ingly  irreconcilable  controversy  as  to  whether  the 
psychic  life  sleeps  at  night  or  can  make  the  same 
use  of  all  its  capabilities  as  during  the  day,  we  have 
been  able  to  agree  with  both  sides,  though  not  fully 
with  either.  We  have  found  proof  that  the  dream 
thoughts  represent  a  most  complicated  intellectual 
activity,  employing  almost  every  means  furnished 
by  the  psychic  apparatus;  still  it  cannot  be  denied 
that  these  dream  thoughts  have  originated  during 
the  day,  and  it  is  indispensable  to  assume  that  there 
is  a  sleeping  state  of  the  psychic  life.  Thus,  even 
the  theory  of  partial  sleep  has  come  into  play;  but 
the  characteristics  of  the  sleeping  state  have  been 
found  not  in  the  dilapidation  of  the  psychic  connec 
tions  but  in  the  cessation  of  the  psychic  system 
dominating  the  day,  arising  from  its  desire  to  sleep. 
The  withdrawal  from  the  outer  world  retains  its 
significance  also  for  our  conception ;  though  not  the 
only  factor,  it  nevertheless  helps  the  regression  to 
make  possible  the  representation  of  the  dreanl. 
That  we  should  reject  the  voluntary  guidance  of  the 
presentation  course  is  uncontestable ;  but  the  psy 
chic  life  does  not  thereby  become  aimless,  for  we 
have  seen  that  after  the  abandonment  of  the  desired 


THE  PROCESS— REGRESSION     191 

end-presentation  undesired  ones  gain  the  mastery. 
The  loose  associative  connection  in  the  dream  we 
have  not  only  recognized,  but  we  have  placed  under 
its  control  a  far  greater  territory  than  could  have 
been  supposed;  we  have,  however,  found  it  merely 
the  feigned  substitute  for  another  correct  and  sense- 
ful  one.  To  be  sure  we,  too,  have  called  the  dream 
absurd;  but  we  have  been  able  to  learn  from  ex 
amples  how  wise  the  dream  really  is  when  it  simu 
lates  absurdity.  We  do  not  deny  any  of  the  func 
tions  that  have  been  attributed  to  the  dream.  That 
the  dream  relieves  the  mind  like  a  valve,  and  that, 
according  to  Robert's  assertion,  all  kinds  of  harm 
ful  material  are  rendered  harmless  through  repre 
sentation  in  the  dream,  not  only  exactly  coincides 
with  our  theory  of  the  twofold  wish-fulfillment  in 
the  dream,  but,  in  his  own  wording,  becomes  even 
more  comprehensible  for  us  than  for  Robert  himself. 
The  free  indulgence  of  the  psychic  in  the  play  of 
its  faculties  finds  expression  with  us  in  the  non 
interference  with  the  dream  on  the  part  of  the  fore- 
conscious  activity.  The  "return  to  the  embryonal 
state  of  psychic  life  in  the  dream"  and  the  observa 
tion  of  Havelock  Ellis,  "an  archaic  world  of  vast 
emotions  and  imperfect  thoughts,"  appear  to  us  as 
happy  anticipations  of  our  deductions  to  the  effect 
that  primitive  modes  of  work  suppressed  during 


192  BREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

the  day  participate  in  the  formation  of  the  dream; 
and  with  us,  as  with  Delage,  the  suppressed  ma 
terial  becomes  the  mainspring  of  the  dreaming. 

We  have  fully  recognized  the  role  which  Schemer 
ascribes  to  the  dream  phantasy,  and  even  his  inter 
pretation  ;  but  we  have  been  obliged,  so  to  speak,  to 
conduct  them  to  another  department  in  the  prob 
lem.  It  is  not  the  dream  that  produces  the  phan 
tasy  but  the  unconscious  phantasy  that  takes  the 
greatest  part  in  the  formation  of  the  dream 
thoughts.  We  are  indebted  to  Schemer  for  his 
clew  to  the  source  of  the  dream  thoughts,  but  almost 
everything  that  he  ascribes  to  the  dream-work  is 
attributable  to  the  activity  of  the  unconscious, 
which  is  at  work  during  the  day,  and  which  sup 
plies  incitements  not  only  for  dreams  but  for  neu 
rotic  symptoms  as  well.  We  have  had  to  separate 
the  dream-work  from  this  activity  as  being  some 
thing  entirely  different  and  far  more  restricted. 
Finally,  we  have  by  no  means  abandoned  the  rela 
tion  of  the  dream  to  mental  disturbances,  but,  on 
the  contrary,  we  have  given  it  a  more  solid  founda 
tion  on  new  ground. 

Thus  held  together  by  the  new  material  of  our 
theory  as  by  a  superior  unity,  we  find  the  most 
varied  and  most  contradictory  conclusions  of  the 
Authorities  fitting  into  our  structure ;  some  of  them 


THE  PROCESS— REGRESSION     193 

are  differently  disposed,  only  a  few  of  them  are 
entirely  rejected.  But  our  own  structure  is  still 
unfinished.  For,  disregarding  the  many  obscuri 
ties  which  we  have  necessarily  encountered  in  our 
advance  into  the  darkness  of  psychology,  we  are 
now  apparently  embarrassed  by  a  new  contradic 
tion.  On  the  one  hand,  we  have  allowed  the  dream 
thoughts  to  proceed  from  perfectly  normal  mental 
operations,  while,  on  the  other  hand,  we  have  found 
among  the  dream  thoughts  a  number  of  entirely 
abnormal  mental  processes  which  extend  likewise 
to  the  dream  contents.  These,  consequently,  we 
have  repeated  in  the  interpretation  of  the  dream. 
All  that  we  have  termed  the  "dream- work"  seems 
so  remote  from  the  psychic  processes  recognized  by 
us  as  correct,  that  the  severest  judgments  of  the 
authors  as  to  the  low  psychic  activity  of  dreaming 
seem  to  us  well  founded. 

Perhaps  only  through  still  further  advance  can 
enlightenment  and  improvement  be  brought  about. 
I  shall  pick  out  one  of  the  constellations  leading  to 
the  formation  of  dreams. 

We  have  learned  that  the  dream  replaces  a  num 
ber  of  thoughts  derived  from  daily  life  which  are 
perfectly  formed  logically.  We  cannot  therefore 
doubt  that  these  thoughts  originate  from  our  nor 
mal  mental  life.  All  the  qualities  which  we  esteem 


194  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

in  our  mental  operations,  and  which  distinguish 
these  as  complicated  activities  of  a  high  order,  we 
find  repeated  in  the  dream  thoughts.  There  is, 
however,  no  need  of  assuming  that  this  mental  work 
is  performed  during  sleep,  as  this  would  materially 
impair  the  conception  of  the  psychic  state  of  sleep 
we  have  hitherto  adhered  to.  These  thoughts  may 
just  as  well  have  originated  from  the  day,  and,  un 
noticed  by  our  consciousness  from  their  inception, 
they  may  have  continued  to  develop  until  they  stood 
complete  at  the  onset  of  sleep.  If  we  are  to  con 
clude  anything  from  this  state  of  affairs,  it  will  at 
most  prove  that  the  most  complex  mental  opera 
tions  are  possible  without  the  cooperation  of  con 
sciousness,  which  we  have  already  learned  independ 
ently  from  every  psychoanalysis  of  persons  suffer 
ing  from  hysteria  or  obsessions.  These  dream 
thoughts  are  in  themselves  surely  not  incapable  of 
consciousness ;  if  they  have  not  become  conscious  to 
us  during  the  day,  this  may  have  various  reasons. 
The  state  of  becoming  conscious  depends  on  the  ex 
ercise  of  a  certain  psychic  function,  viz.  attention, 
which  seems  to  be  extended  only  in  a  definite  quan 
tity,  and  which  may  have  been  withdrawn  from  the 
stream  of  thought  in  question  by  other  aims.  An 
other  way  in  which  such  mental  streams  are  kept 
from  consciousness  is  the  following: — Our  conscious 


THE  PROCESS— REGRESSION     195 

reflection  teaches  us  that  when  exercising  attention 
we  pursue  a  definite  course.  But  if  that  course 
leads  us  to  an  idea  which  does  not  hold  its  own  with 
the  critic,  we  discontinue  and  cease  to  apply  our 
attention.  Now,  apparently,  the  stream  of  thought 
thus  started  and  abandoned  may  spin  on  without 
regaining  attention  unless  it  reaches  a  spot  of  es 
pecially  marked  intensity  which  forces  the  return 
of  attention.  An  initial  rejection,  perhaps  con 
sciously  brought  about  by  the  judgment  on  the 
ground  of  incorrectness  or  unfitness  for  the  actual 
purpose  of  the  mental  act,  may  therefore  account 
for  the  fact  that  a  mental  process  continues  until 
the  onset  of  sleep  unnoticed  by  consciousness. 

Let  us  recapitulate  by  saying  that  we  call  such 
a  stream  of  thought  a  f  oreconscious  one,  that  we  be 
lieve  it  to  be  perfectly  correct,  and  that  it  may  just 
as  well  be  a  more  neglected  one  or  an  interrupted 
and  suppressed  one.  Let  us  also  state  frankly  in 
what  manner  we  conceive  this  presentation  course. 
We  believe  that  a  certain  sum  of  excitement,  which 
we  call  occupation  energy,  is  displaced  from  an  end- 
presentation  along  the  association  paths  selected  by 
that  end-presentation.  A  "neglected"  stream  of 
thought  has  received  no  such  occupation,  and  from 
a  "suppressed"  or  "rejected"  one  this  occupation 
has  been  withdrawn;  both  have  thus  been  left  to 


196  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

their  own  emotions.  The  end-stream  of  thought 
stocked  with  energy  is  under  certain  conditions  able 
to  draw  to  itself  the  attention  of  consciousness, 
through  which  means  it  then  receives  a  "surplus  of 
energy."  We  shall  be  obliged  somewhat  later  to 
elucidate  our  assumption  concerning  the  nature  and 
activity  of  consciousness. 

A  train  of  thought  thus  incited  in  the  Forec.  may 
either  disappear  spontaneously  or  continue.  The 
former  issue  we  conceive  as  follows:  It  diffuses 
its  energy  through  all  the  association  paths  emanat 
ing  from  it,  and  throws  the  entire  chain  of  ideas  into 
a  state  of  excitement  which,  after  lasting  for  a 
while,  subsides  through  the  transformation  of  the 
excitement  requiring  an  outlet  into  dormant  en 
ergy.1  If  this  first  issue  is  brought  about  the  pro 
cess  has  no  further  significance  for  the  dream  forma 
tion.  But  other  end-presentations  are  lurking  in 
our  foreconscious  that  originate  from  the  sources 
of  our  unconscious  and  from  the  ever  active  wishes. 
These  may  take  possession  of  the  excitations  in  the 
circle  of  thought  thus  left  to  itself,  establish  a  con 
nection  between  it  and  the  unconscious  wish,  and 
transfer  to  it  the  energy  inherent  in  the  unconscious 
wish.  Henceforth  the  neglected  or  suppressed 

K7/.  the  significant  observations  by  J.  Bueuer  in  our  Studies  on 
Hysteria,  1895,  and  2nd  ed.  1909. 


THE  PROCESS— REGRESSION     197 

train  of  thought  is  in  a  position  to  maintain  itself, 
although  this  reinforcement  does  not  help  it  to  gain 
access  to  consciousness.  We  may  say  that  the 
hitherto  foreconscious  train  of  thought  has  been 
drawn  into  the  unconscious. 

Other  constellations  for  the  dream  formation 
would  result  if  the  foreconscious  train  of  thought 
had  from  the  beginning  been  connected  with  the 
unconscious  wish,  and  for  that  reason  met  with  re 
jection  by  the  dominating  end-occupation;  or  if  an 
unconscious  wish  were  made  active  for  other — pos 
sibly  somatic — reasons  and  of  its  own  accord  sought 
a  transference  to  the  psychic  remnants  not  occupied 
by  the  Forec.  All  three  cases  finally  combine  in 
one  issue,  so  that  there  is  established  in  the  forecon 
scious  a  stream  of  thought  which,  having  been  aban 
doned  by  the  foreconscious  occupation,  receives  oc 
cupation  from,  the  unconscious  wish. 

The  stream  of  thought  is  henceforth  subjected 
to  a  series  of  transformations  which  we  no  longer 
recognize  as  normal  psychic  processes  and  which 
give  us  a  surprising  result,  viz.  a  psychopathological 
formation.  Let  us  emphasize  and  group  the  same. 

1.  The  intensities  of  the  individual  ideas  become 
capable  of  discharge  in  their  entirety,  and,  proceed 
ing  from  one  conception  to  the  other,  they  thus 
form  single  presentations  endowed  with  marked  in- 


198  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

tensity.  Through  the  repeated  recurrence  of  this 
process  the  intensity  of  an  e.ntire  train  of  ideas  may 
ultimately  be  gathered  in  a  single  presentation  ele 
ment.  This  is  the  principle  of  compression  or  con 
densation.  It  is  condensation  that  is  mainly  re 
sponsible  for  the  strange  impression  of  the  dream, 
for  we  know  of  nothing  analogous  to  it  in  the  nor 
mal  psychic  life  accessible  to  consciousness.  We 
find  here,  also,  presentations  which  possess  great 
psychic  significance  as  junctions  or  as  end-results 
of  whole  chains  of  thought;  but  this  validity  does 
not  manifest  itself  in  any  character  conspicuous 
enough  for  internal  perception;  hence,  what  has 
been  presented  in  it  does  not  become  in  any  way 
more  intensive.  In  the  process  of  condensation  the 
entire  psychic  connection  becomes  transformed  into 
the  intensity  of  the  presentation  content.  It  is  the 
same  as  in  a  book  where  we  space  or  print  in  heavy 
type  any  word  upon  which  particular  stress  is  laid 
for  the  understanding  of  the  text.  In  speech  the 
same  word  would  be  pronounced  loudly  and  de 
liberately  and  with  emphasis.  The  first  compari 
son  leads  us  at  once  to  an  example  taken  from  the 
chapter  on  "The  Dream-Work"  (trimethylamine 
in  the  dream  of  Irma's  injection) .  Historians  of 
art  call  our  attention  to  the  fact  that  the  most  an 
cient  historical  sculptures  follow  a  similar  principle 


THE  PROCESS— REGRESSION     199 

in  expressing  the  rank  of  the  persons  represented 
by  the  size  of  the  statue.  The  king  is  made  two  or 
three  times  as  large  as  his  retinue  or  the  vanquished 
enemy.  A  piece  of  art,  however,  from  the  Roman 
period  makes  use  of  more  subtle  means  to  accom 
plish  the  same  purpose.  The  figure  of  the  emperor 
is  placed  in-  the  center  in  a  firmly  erect  posture; 
special  care  is  bestowed  on  the  proper  modelling  of 
his  figure ;  his  enemies  are  seen  cowering  at  his  feet ; 
but  he  is  no  longer  represented  a  giant  among 
dwarfs.  However,  the  bowing  of  the  subordinate 
to  his  superior  in  our  own  days  is  only  an  echo  of 
that  ancient  principle  of  representation. 

The  direction  taken  by  the  condensations  of  the 
dream  is  prescribed  on  the  one  hand  by  the  true 
foreconscious  relations  of  the  dream  thoughts,  on 
the  other  hand  by  the  attraction  of  the  visual  remi 
niscences  in  the  unconscious.  The  success  of  the 
condensation  work  produces  those  intensities  which 
are  required  for  penetration  into  the  perception 
systems. 

2.  Through  this  free  transferability  of  the  in 
tensities,  moreover,  and  in  the  service  of  condensa 
tion,  intermediary  presentations — compromises,  as 
it  were — are  formed  (cf.  the  numerous  examples). 
This,  likewise,  is  something  unheard  of  in  the  nor 
mal  presentation  course,  where  it  is  above  all  a 


200  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

question  of  selection  and  retention  of  the  "proper" 
presentation  element.  On  the  other  hand,  com 
posite  and  compromise  formations  occur  with  ex 
traordinary  frequency  when  we  are  trying  to  find 
the  linguistic  expression  for  foreconscious  thoughts; 
these  are  considered  "slips  of  the  tongue." 

3.  The  presentations  which  transfer  their  intensi 
ties  to  one  another  are  very  loosely  connected,  and 
are  joined  together  by  such  forms  of  association  as 
are  spurned  in  our  serious  thought  and  are  utilized 
in  the  production  of  the  effect  of  wit  only.     Among 
these  we  particularly  find  associations  of  the  sound 
and  consonance  types. 

4.  Contradictory  thoughts  do  not  strive  to  elimi 
nate  one  another,  but  remain  side  by  side.     They 
often  unite  to  produce  condensation  as  if  no  con 
tradiction  existed,  or  they  form  compromises  for 
which  we  should  never  forgive  our  thoughts,  but 
which  we  frequently  approve  of  in  our  actions. 

These  are  some  of  the  most  conspicuous  abnor 
mal  processes  to  which  the  thoughts  which  have 
previously  been  rationally  formed  are  subjected  in 
the  course  of  the  dream-work.  As  the  main  feature 
of  these  processes  we  recognize  the  high  importance 
attached  to  the  fact  of  rendering  the  occupation 
energy  mobile  and  capable  of  discharge;  the  content 
and  the  actual  significance  of  the  psychic  elements, 


THE  PROCESS— REGRESSION     201 

to  which  these  energies  adhere,  become  a  matter  of 
secondary  importance.  One  might  possibly  think 
that  the  condensation  and  compromise  formation  is 
effected  only  in  the  service  of  regression,  when  oc 
casion  arises  for  changing  thoughts  into  pictures. 
But  the  analysis  and — still  more  distinctly — the 
synthesis  of  dreams  which  lack  regression  toward 
pictures,  e.g.  the  dream  "Autodidasker — Conversa 
tion  with  Court-Councilor  N.,"  present  the  same 
processes  of  displacement  and  condensation  as  the 
others. 

Hence  we  cannot  refuse  to  acknowledge  that  the 
two  kinds  of  essentially  different  psychic  processes 
participate  in  the  formation  of  the  dream;  one 
forms  perfectly  correct  dream  thoughts  which  are 
equivalent  to  normal  thoughts,  while  the  other 
treats  these  ideas  in  a  highly  surprising  and  incor 
rect  manner.  The  latter  process  we  have  already 
set  apart  as  the  dream-work  proper.  What  have 
we  now  to  advance  concerning  this  latter  psychic 
process  ? 

We  should  be  unable  to  answer  this  question  here 
if  we  had  not  penetrated  considerably  into  the  psy 
chology  of  the  neuroses  and  especially  of  hysteria. 
From  this  we  learn  that  the  same  incorrect  psychic 
processes — as  well  as  others  that  have  not  been 
enumerated — control  the  formation  of  hysterical 


202  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

symptoms.  In  hysteria,  too,  we  at  once  find  a 
series  of  perfectly  correct  thoughts  equivalent  to 
our  conscious  thoughts,  of  whose  existence,  how 
ever,  in  this  form  we  can  learn  nothing  and  which 
we  can  only  subsequently  reconstruct.  If  they 
have  forced  their  way  anywhere  to  our  perception, 
we  discover  from  the  analysis  of  the  symptom 
formed  that  these  normal  thoughts  have  been  sub 
jected  to  abnormal  treatment  and  have  been  trans 
formed  into  the  symptom  by  means  of  condensa 
tion  and  compromise  formation,  through  superficial 
associations,  under  cover  of  contradictions,  and 
eventually  over  the  road  of  regression.  In  view  of 
the  complete  identity  found  between  the  peculiari 
ties  of  the  dream-work  and  of  the  psychic  activity 
forming  the  psychoneurotic  symptoms,  we  shall 
feel  justified  in  transferring  to  the  dream  the  con 
clusions  urged  upon  us  by  hysteria. 

From  the  theory  of  hysteria  we  borrow  the  prop 
osition  that  such  an  abnormal  psychic  elaboration 
of  a  normal  train  of  thought  takes  place  only  when 
the  latter  has  been  used  for  the  transference  of  an 
unconscious  wish  which  dates  from  the  infantile  life 
and  is  in  a  state  of  repression.  In  accordance  with 
this  proposition  we  have  construed  the  theory  of 
the  dream  on  the  assumption  that  the  actuating 
dream -wish  invariably  originates  in  the  unconscious, 


THE  PROCESS— REGRESSION     203 

which,  as  we  ourselves  have  admitted,  cannot  be 
universally  demonstrated  though  it  cannot  be  re 
futed.  But  in  order  to  explain  the  real  meaning  of 
the  term  repression,  which  we  have  employed  so 
freely,  we  shall  be  obliged  to  make  some  further 
addition  to  our  psychological  construction. 

We  have  above  elaborated  the  fiction  of  a  primi 
tive  psychic  apparatus,  whose  work  is  regulated  by 
the  efforts  to  avoid  accumulation  of  excitement  and 
as  far  as  possible  to  maintain  itself  free  from  ex 
citement.  For  this  reason  it  was  constructed  after 
the  plan  of  a  reflex  apparatus ;  the  motility,  origin 
ally  the  path  for  the  inner  bodily  change,  formed  a 
discharging  path  standing  at  its  disposal.  We 
subsequently  discussed  the  psychic  results  of  a  feel 
ing  of  gratification,  and  we  might  at  the  same  time 
have  introduced  the  second  assumption,  viz.  that 
accumulation  of  excitement — following  certain 
modalities  that  do  not  concern  us — is  perceived  as 
pain  and  sets  the  apparatus  in  motion  in  order  to 
reproduce  a  feeling  of  gratification  in  which  the 
diminution  of  the  excitement  is  perceived  as  pleas 
ure.  Such  a  current  in  the  apparatus  which  ema 
nates  from  pain  and  strives  for  pleasure  we  call  a 
wish.  We  have  said  that  nothing  but  a  wish  is 
capable  of  setting  the  apparatus  in  motion,  and 
that  the  discharge  of  excitement  in  the  apparatus 


204  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

is  regulated  automatically  by  the  perception  of 
pleasure  and  pain.  The  first  wish  must  have  been 
an  hallucinatory  occupation  of  the  memory  for 
gratification.  But  this  hallucination,  unless  it  were 
maintained  to  the  point  of  exhaustion,  proved  in 
capable  of  bringing  about  a  cessation  of  the  desire 
and  consequently  of  securing  the  pleasure  connected 
with  gratification. 

Thus  there  was  required  a  second  activity — in 
our  terminology  the  activity  of  a  second  system— 
which  should  not  permit  the  memory  occupation  to 
advance  to  perception  and  therefrom  to  restrict  the 
psychic  forces,  but  should  lead  the  excitement 
emanating  from  the  craving  stimulus  by  a  devious 
path  over  the  spontaneous  motility  which  ultimately 
should  so  change  the  outer  world  as  to  allow  the 
real  perception  of  the  object  of  gratification  to 
take  place.  Thus  far  we  have  elaborated  the  plan 
of  the  psychic  apparatus ;  these  two  systems  are  the 
germ  of  the  Unc.  and  Forec.  which  we  include  in 
the  fully  developed  apparatus. 

In  order  to  be  in  a  position  successfully  to  change 
the  outer  world  through  the  motility,  there  is  re 
quired  the  accumulation  of  a  large  sum  of  experi 
ences  in  the  memory  systems  as  well  as  a  manifold 
fixation  of  the  relations  which  are  evoked  in  this 
memory  material  by  different  end-presentations. 


THE  PROCESS— REGRESSION     205 

We  now  proceed  further  with  our  assumption. 
The  manifold  activity  of  the  second  system,  tenta 
tively  sending  forth  and  retracting  energy,  must 
on  the  one  hand  have  full  command  over  all  mem 
ory  material,  but  on  the  other  hand  it  would  be  a 
superfluous  expenditure  for  it  to  send  to  the  in 
dividual  mental  paths  large  quantities  of  energy 
which  would  thus  flow  off  to  no  purpose,  diminish 
ing  the  quantity  available  for  the  transformation 
of  the  outer  world.  In  the  interests  of  expediency 
I  therefore  postulate  that  the  second  system  suc 
ceeds  in  maintaining  the  greater  part  of  the  occupa 
tion  energy  in  a  dormant  state  and  in  using  but  a 
small  portion  for  the  purposes  of  displacement. 
The  mechanism  of  these  processes  is  entirely  un 
known  to  me;  any  one  who  wishes  to  follow  up 
these  ideas  must  try  to  find  the  physical  analogies 
and  prepare  the  way  for  a  demonstration  of  the 
process  of  motion  in  the  stimulation  of  the  neuron. 
I  merely  hold  to  the  idea  that  the  activity  of  the 
first  *- system  is  directed  to  the  free  outflow  of  the 
quantities  of  excitement,  and  that  the  second  sys 
tem  brings  about  an  inhibition  of  this  outflow 
through  the  energies  emanating  from  it,  i.e.  it  pro 
duces  a  transformation  into  dormant  energy,  prob 
ably  by  raising  the  level.  I  therefore  assume  that 
under  the  control  of  the  second  system  as  compared 


206  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

with  the  first,  the  course  of  the  excitement  is  bound 
to  entirely  different  mechanical  conditions.  After 
the  second  system  has  finished  its  tentative  mental 
work,  it  removes  the  inhibition  and  congestion  of 
the  excitements  and  allows  these  excitements  to  flow 
off  to  the  motility. 

An  interesting  train  of  thought  now  presents 
itself  if  we  consider  the  relations  of  this  inhibition 
of  discharge  by  the  second  system  to  the  regulation 
through  the  principle  of  pain.  Let  us  now  seek 
the  counterpart  of  the  primary  feeling  of  gratifica 
tion,  namely,  the  objective  feeling  of  fear.  A  per 
ceptive  stimulus  acts  on  the  primitive  apparatus, 
becoming  the  source  of  a  painful  emotion.  This 
will  then  be  followed  by  irregular  motor  manifesta 
tions  until  one  of  these  withdraws  the  apparatus 
from  perception  and  at  the  same  time  from  pain, 
but  on  the  reappearance  of  the  perception  this  mani 
festation  will  immediately  repeat  itself  (perhaps 
as  a  movement  of  flight)  until  the  perception  has 
again  disappeared.  But  there  will  here  remain  no 
tendency  again  to  occupy  the  perception  of  the 
source  of  pain  in  the  form  of  an  hallucination  or  in 
any  other  form.  On  the  contrary,  there  will  be  a 
tendency  in  the  primary  apparatus  to  abandon  the 
painful  memory  picture  as  soon  as  it  is  in  any  way 
awakened,  as  the  overflow  of  its  excitement  would 


THE  PROCESS— REGRESSION     207 

surely  produce  (rnpre  precisely,  begin  to  produce) 
pain.  The  deviation  from  memory,  which  is  but 
a  repetition  of  the  former  flight  from  perception, 
is  facilitated  also  by  the  fact  that,  unlike  perception, 
memory  does  not  possess  sufficient  quality  to  excite 
consciousness  and  thereby  to  attract  to  itself  new 
energy.  This  easy  and  regularly  occurring  devia 
tion  of  the  psychic  process  from  the  former  painful 
memory  presents  to  us  the  model  and  the  first  ex 
ample  of  psychic  repression.  As  is  generally 
known,  much  of  this  deviation  from  the  painful, 
much  of  the  behavior  of  the  ostrich,  can  be  readily 
demonstrated  even  in  the  normal  psychic  life  of 
adults. 

By  virtue  of  the  principle  of  pain  the  first  system 
is  therefore  altogether  incapable  of  introducing 
anything  unpleasant  into  the  mental  associations. 
The  system  cannot  do  anything  but  wish.  If  this 
remained  so  the  mental  activity  of  the  second  sys 
tem,  which  should  have  at  its  disposal  all  the  mem 
ories  stored  up  by  experiences,  would  be  hindered. 
But  two  ways  are  now  opened :  the  work  of  the  sec 
ond  system  either  frees  itself  completely  from  the 
principle  of  pain  and  continues  its  course,  paying 
no  heed  to  the  painful  reminiscence,  or  it  contrives 
to  occupy  the  painful  memory  in  such  a  manner  as 
to  preclude  the  liberation  of  pain.  We  may  reject 


208  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

the  first  possibility,  as  the  principle  of  pain  also 
manifests  itself  as  a  regulator  for  the  emotional  dis 
charge  of  the  second  system;  we  are,  therefore,  di 
rected  to  the  second  possibility,  namely,  that  this 
system  occupies  a  reminiscence  in  such  a  manner  as 
to  inhibit  its  discharge  and  hence,  also,  to  inhibit 
the  discharge  comparable  to  a  motor  innervation 
for  the  development  of  pain.  Thus  from  two  start 
ing  points  we  are  led  to  the  hypothesis  that  occupa 
tion  through  the  second  system  is  at  the  same  time 
an  inhibition  for  the  emotional  discharge,  viz.  from 
a  consideration  of  the  principle  of  pain  and  from 
the  principle  of  the  smallest  expenditure  of  inner 
vation.  Let  us,  however,  keep  to  the  fact — this  is 
the  key  to  the  theory  of  repression — that  the  second 
system  is  capable  of  occupying  an  idea  only  when 
it.  is  in  position  to  clieck  the  development  of  pain 
emanating  from  it.  Whatever  withdraws  itself 
from  this  inhibition  also  remains  inaccessible  for  the 
second  system  and  would  soon  be  abandoned  by 
virtue  of  the  principle  of  pain.  The  inhibition  of 
pain,  however,  need  not  be  complete;  it  must  be 
permitted  to  begin,  as  it  indicates  to  the  second 
system  the  nature  of  the  memory  and  possibly  its 
defective  adaptation  for  the  purpose  sought  by  the 
mind. 

The  psychic  process  which  is  admitted  by  the 


THE  PROCESS— REGRESSION     209 

first  system  only  I  shall  now  call  the  primary  pro 
cess;  and  the  one  resulting  from  the  inhibition  of 
the  second  system  I  shall  call  the  secondary  pro 
cess.  I  show  by  another  point  for  what  purpose 
the  second  system  is  obliged  to  correct  the  primary 
process.  The  primary  process  strives  for  a  dis 
charge  of  the  excitement  in  order  to  establish  a 
perception  identity  with  the  sum  of  excitement  thus 
gathered ;  the  secondary  process  has  abandoned  this 
intention  and  undertaken  instead  the  task  of  bring 
ing  about  a  thought  identity.  All  thinking  is  only 
a  circuitous  path  from  the  memory  of  gratification 
taken  as  an  end-presentation  to  the  identical  oc 
cupation  of  the  same  memory,  which  is  again  to  be 
attained  on  the  track  of  the  motor  experiences. 
The  state  of  thinking  must  take  an  interest  in  the 
connecting  paths  between  the  presentations  without 
allowing  itself  to  be  misled  by  their  intensities. 
But  it  is  obvious  that  condensations  and  intermedi 
ate  or  compromise  formations  occurring  in  the 
presentations  impede  the  attainment  of  this  end- 
identity  ;  by  substituting  one  idea  for  the  other  they 
deviate  from  the  path  which  otherwise  would  have 
been  continued  from  the  original  idea.  Such  pro 
cesses  are  therefore  carefully  avoided  in  the  second 
ary  thinking.  Nor  is  it  difficult  to  understand  that 
the  principle  of  pain  also  impedes  the  progress  of 


210  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

the  mental  stream  in  its  pursuit  of  the  thought 
identity,  though,  indeed,  it  offers  to  the  mental 
stream  the  most  important  points  of  departure. 
Hence  the  tendency  of  the  thinking  process  must 
be  to  free  itself  more  and  more  from  exclusive  ad 
justment  by  the  principle  of  pain,  and  through  the 
working  of  the  mind  to  restrict  the  affective  de 
velopment  to  that  minimum  which  is  necessary  as 
a  signal.  This  refinement  of  the  activity  must  have 
been  attained  through  a  recent  over-occupation  of 
energy  brought  about  by  consciousness.  But  we 
are  aware  that  this  refinement  is  seldom  completely 
successful  even  in  the  most  normal  psychic  life  and 
that  our  thoughts  ever  remain  accessible  to  falsifica 
tion  through  the  interference  of  the  principle  of 
pain. 

This,  however,  is  not  the  breach  in  the  functional 
efficiency  of  our  psychic  apparatus  through  which 
the  thoughts  forming  the  material  of  the  secondary 
mental  work  are  enabled  to  make  their  way  into 
the  primary  psychic  process — with  which  formula 
we  may  now  describe  the  work  leading  to  the  dream 
and  to  the  hysterical  symptoms.  This  case  of  in 
sufficiency  results  from  the  union  of  the  two  factors 
from  the  history  of  our  evolution;  one  of  which  be 
longs  solely  to  the  psychic  apparatus  and  has  ex 
erted  a  determining  influence  on  the  relation  of  the 


THE  PROCESS— REGRESSION     211 

two  systems,  while  the  other  operates  fluctuatingly 
and  introduces  motive  forces  of  organic  origin  into 
the  psychic  life.  Both  originate  in  the  infantile  life 
and  result  from  the  transformation  which  our  psy 
chic  and  somatic  organism  has  undergone  since  the 
infantile  period. 

When  I  termed  one  of  the  psychic  processes  in 
the  psychic  apparatus  the  primary  process,  I  did  so 
not  only  in  consideration  of  the  order  of  precedence 
and  capability,  but  also  as  admitting  the  temporal 
relations  to  a  share  in  the  nomenclature.  As  far  as 
our  knowledge  goes  there  is  no  psychic  apparatus 
possessing  only  the  primary  process,  and  in  so  far 
it  is  a  theoretic  fiction;  but  so  much  is  based  on  fact 
that  the  primary  processes  are  present  in  the  ap 
paratus  from  the  beginning,  while  the  secondary 
processes  develop  gradually  in  the  course  of  life, 
inhibiting  and  covering  the  primary  ones,  and  gain 
ing  complete  mastery  over  them  perhaps  only  at  the 
height  of  life.  Owing  to  this  retarded  appearance 
of  the  secondary  processes,  the  essence  of  our  be 
ing,  consisting  in  unconscious  wish  feelings,  can 
neither  be  seized  nor  inhibited  by  the  f  oreconscious, 
whose  part  is  once  for  all  restricted  to  the  indication 
of  the  most  suitable  paths  for  the  wish  feelings  or 
iginating  in  the  unconscious.  These  unconscious 
wishes  establish  for  all  subsequent  psychic  efforts 


212  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

a  compulsion  to  which  they  have  to  submit  and 
which  they  must  strive  if  possible  to  divert  from  its 
course  and  direct  to  higher  aims.  In  consequence 
of  this  retardation  of  the  foreconscious  occupation 
a  large  sphere  of  the  memory  material  remains  in 
accessible. 

Among  these  indestructible  and  unincumbered 
wish  feelings  originating  from  the  infantile  life, 
there  are  also  some,  the  fulfillments  of  which  have 
entered  into  a  relation  of  contradiction  to  the  end- 
presentation  of  the  secondary  thinking.  The  ful 
fillment  of  these  wishes  would  no  longer  produce  an 
affect  of  pleasure  but  one  of  pain;  and  it  is  just  this 
transformation  of  affect  that  constitutes  the  nature 
of  what  we  designate  as  "repression"  in  which  we 
recognize  the  infantile  first  step  of  passing  adverse 
sentence  or  of  rejecting  through  reason.  To  in 
vestigate  in  what  way  and  through  what  motive 
forces  'such  a  transformation  can  be  produced  con 
stitutes  the  problem  of  repression,  which  we  need 
here  only  skim  over.  It  will  suffice  to  remark  that 
such  a  transformation  of  affect  occurs  in  the  course 
of  development  (one  may  think  of  the  appearance 
in  infantile  life  of  disgust  which  was  originally  ab 
sent),  and  that  it  is  connected  with  the  activity  of 
the  secondary  system.  The  memories  from  which 
the  unconscious  wish  brings  about  the  emotional  dis- 


THE  PROCESS— REGRESSION     213 

charge  have  never  been  accessible  to  the  Force.,  and 
for  that  reason  their  emotional  discharge  cannot  be 
inhibited.  It  is  just  on  account  of  this  affective 
development  that  these  ideas  are  not  even  now  ac 
cessible  to  the  foreconscious  thoughts  to  which  they 
have  transferred  their  wishing  power.  On  the  con 
trary,  the  principle  of  pain  comes  into  play,  and 
causes  the  Force,  to  deviate  from  these  thoughts  of 
transference.  The  latter,  left  to  themselves,  are 
"repressed,"  and  thus  the  existence  of  a  store  of  in 
fantile  memories,  from  the  very  beginning  with 
drawn  from  the  Force.,  becomes  the  preliminary 
condition  of  repression. 

In  the  most  favorable  case  the  development  of 
pain  terminates  as  soon  as  the  energy  has  been  with 
drawn  from  the  thoughts  of  transference  in  the 
Force.,  and  this  effect  characterizes  the  intervention 
of  the  principle  of  pain  as  expedient.  It  is  differ 
ent,  however,  if  the  repressed  unconscious  wish  re 
ceives  an  organic  enforcement  which  it  can  lend  to 
its  thoughts  of  transference  and  through  which  it 
can  enable  them  to  make  an  effort  towards  pene 
tration  with  their  excitement,  even  after  they  have 
been  abandoned  by  the  occupation  of  the  Force. 
A  defensive  struggle  then  ensues,  inasmuch  as  the 
Force,  reinforces  the  antagonism  against  the  re 
pressed  ideas,  and  subsequently  this  leads  to  a  pen- 


214  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

etration  by  the  thoughts  of  transference  (the  car 
riers  of  the  unconscious  wish)  in  some  form  of  com 
promise  through  symptom  formation.  But  from 
the  moment  that  the  suppressed  thoughts  are  pow 
erfully  occupied  by  the  unconscious  wish-feeling 
and  abandoned  by  the  foreconscious  occupation, 
they  succumb  to  the  primary  psychic  process  and 
strive  only  for  motor  discharge;  or,  if  the  path  be 
free,  for  hallucinatory  revival  of  the  desired  percep 
tion  identity.  We  have  previously  found,  empiri 
cally,  that  the  incorrect  processes  described  are  en 
acted  only  with  thoughts  that  exist  in  the  repres 
sion.  We  now  grasp  another  part  of  the  connec 
tion.  These  incorrect  processes  are  those  that  are 
primary  in  the  psychic  apparatus;  they  appear 
wherever  thoughts  abandoned  by  the  foreconscious 
occupation  are  left  to  themselves,  and  can  fill  them 
selves  with  the  uninhibited  energy,  striving  for  dis 
charge  from  the  unconscious.  We  may  add  a  few 
further  observations  to  support  the  view  that  these 
processes  designated  "incorrect"  are  really  not 
falsifications  of  the  normal  defective  thinking,  but 
the  modes  of  activity  of  the  psychic  apparatus  when 
freed  from  inhibition.  Thus  we  see  that  the  trans 
ference  of  the  f  orecopscious  excitement  to  the  motil- 
ity  takes  place  according  to  the  same  processes,  and 
that  the  connection  of  the  foreconscious  presenta- 


THE  PROCESS— REGRESSION     215 

tions  with  words  readily  manifest  the  same  displace 
ments  and  mixtures  which  are  ascribed  to  inatten 
tion.  Finally,  I  should  like  to  adduce  proof  that 
an  increase  of  work  necessarily  results  from  the  in 
hibition  of  these  primary  courses  from  the  fact  that 
we  gain  a  comical  effect,  a  surplus  to  be  discharged 
through  laughter,  if  we  allow  these  streams  of 
thought  to  come  to  consciousness. 

The  theory  of  the  psychoneuroses  asserts  with 
complete  certainty  that  only  sexual  wish-feelings 
from  the  infantile  life  experience  repression  (emo 
tional  transformation)  during  the  developmental 
period  of  childhood.  These  are  capable  of  return 
ing  to  activity  at  a  later  period  of  development,  and 
then  have  the  faculty  of  being  revived,  either  as  a 
consequence  of  the  sexual  constitution,  which  is 
really  formed  from  the  original  bisexuality,  or  in 
consequence  of  unfavorable  influences  of  the  sexual 
life ;  and  they  thus  supply  the  motive  power  for  all 
psychoneurotic  symptom  formations.  It  is  only 
by  the  introduction  of  these  sexual  forces  that  the 
gaps  still  demonstrable  in  the  theory  of  repression 
can  be  filled.  I  will  leave  it  undecided  whether  the 
postulate  of  the  sexual  and  infantile  may  also  be 
asserted  for  the  theory  of  the  dream;  I  leave  this 
here  unfinished  because  I  have  already  passed  a 
step  beyond  the  demonstrable  in  assuming  that  the 


216  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

dream-wish  invariably  originates  from  the  uncon 
scious.1  Nor  will  I  further  investigate  the  differ 
ence  in  the  play  of  the  psychic  forces  in  the  dream 
formation  and  in  the  formation  of  the  hysterical 
symptoms,  for  to  do  this  we  ought  to  possess  a  more 
explicit  knowledge  of  one  of  the  members  to  be 
compared.  But  I  regard  another  point  as  impor 
tant,  and  will  here  confess  that  it  was  on  account 

i  Here,  as  in  other  places,  there  are  gaps  in  the  treatment  of  the 
subject,  which  I  have  left  intentionally,  because  to  fill  them  up  would 
require  on  the  one  hand  too  great  effort,  and  on  the  other  hand  an 
extensive  reference  to  material  that  is  foreign  to  the  dream.  Thus  I 
have  avoided  stating  whether  I  connect  with  the  word  "suppressed" 
another  sense  than  with  the  word  "repressed."  It  has  been  made 
clear  only  that  the  latter  emphasizes  more  than  the  former  the  relation 
to  the  unconscious.  I  have  not  entered  into  the  cognate  problem  why 
the  dream  thoughts  also  experience  distortion  by  the  censor  when 
they  abandon  the  progressive  continuation  to  consciousness  and  choose 
the  path  of  regression.  I  have  been  above  all  anxious  to  awaken  an 
interest  in  the  problems  to  which  the  further  analysis  of  the  dream- 
work  leads  and  to  indicate  the  other  themes  whch  meet  these  on  the 
way.  It  was  not  always  easy  to  decide  just  where  the  pursuit  should 
be  discontinued.  That  I  have  not  treated  exhaustively  the  part 
played  in  the  dream  by  the  psychosexual  life  and  have  avoided  the 
interpretation  of  dreams  of  an  obvious  sexual  content  is  due  to  a 
special  reason  which  may  not  come  up  to  the  reader's  expectation. 
To  be  sure,  it  is  very  far  from  my  ideas  and  the  principles  expressed 
by  me  in  neuropathology  to  regard  the  sexual  life  as  a  "pudendum" 
which  should  be  left  unconsidered  by  the  physician  and  the  scientific 
investigator.  I  also  consider  ludicrous  the  moral  indjgnation  which 
prompted  the  translator  of  Artemidoros  of  Daldis  to  keep  from  the 
reader's  knowledge  the  chapter  on  sexual  dreams  contained  in  the 
Symbolism  of  the  Dreams.  As  for  myself,  I  have  been  actuated 
solely  by  the  conviction  that  in  the  explanation  of  sexual  dreams 
I  should  be  bound  to  entangle  myself  deeply  in  the  still  unexplained 
problems  of  perversion  and  bisexuality;  and  for  that  reason  I  hav« 
reserved  this  material  for  another  connection. 


THE  PROCESS— REGRESSION     217 

of  this  very  point  that  I  have  just  undertaken  this 
entire  discussion  concerning  the  two  .psychic  sys 
tems,  their  modes  of  operation,  and  the  repression. 
For  it  is  now  immaterial  whether  I  have  conceived 
the  psychological  relations  in  question  with  ap 
proximate  correctness,  or,  as  is  easily  possible  in 
such  a  difficult  matter,  in  an  erroneous  and  frag 
mentary  manner.  Whatever  changes  may  be  made 
in  the  interpretation  of  the  psychic  censor  and  of 
the  correct  and  of  the  abnormal  elaboration  of  the 
dream  content,  the  fact  nevertheless  remains  that 
such  processes  are  active  in  dream  formation,  and 
that  essentially  they  show  the  closest  analogy  to 
the  processes  observed  in  the  formation  of  the 
hysterical  symptoms.  The  dream  is  not  a  patho 
logical  phenomenon,  and  it  does  not  leave  behind 
an  enfeeblement  of  the  mental  faculties.  The  ob 
jection  that  no  deduction  can  be  drawn  regarding 
the  dreams  of  healthy  persons  from  my  own  dreams 
and  from  those  of  neurotic  patients  may  be  rejected 
without  comment.  Hence,  when  we  draw  conclu 
sions  from  the  phenomena  as  to  their  motive  forces, 
we  recognize  that  the  psychic  mechanism  made  use 
of  by  the  neuroses  is  not  created  by  a  morbid  dis 
turbance  of  the  psychic  life,  but  is  found  ready  in 
the  normal  structure  of  the  psychic  apparatus. 
The  two  psychic  systems,  the  censor  crossing  be- 


218  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

tween  them,  the  inhibition  and  the  covering  of  the 
one  activity  by  the  other,  the  relations  of  both  to 
consciousness — or  whatever  may  offer  a  more  cor 
rect  interpretation  of  the  actual  conditions  in  their 
stead — all  these  belong  to  the  normal  structure  of 
our  psychic  instrument,  and  the  dream  points  out 
for  us  one  of  the  roads  leading  to  a  knowledge  of 
this  structure.  If,  in  addition  to  our  knowledge, 
we  wish  to  be  contented  with  a  minimum  perfectly 
established,  we  shall  say  that  the  dream  gives  us 
proof  that  the  suppressed,  material  continues  to 
exist  even  in  the  normal  person  and  remains  capable 
of  psychic  activity.  The  dream  itself  is  one  of  the 
manifestations  of  this  suppressed  material;  theor 
etically,  this  is  true  in  all  cases;  according  to  sub 
stantial  experience  it  is  true  in  at  least  a  great  num 
ber  of  such  as  most  conspicuously  display  the 
prominent  characteristics  of  dream  life.  The  sup 
pressed  psychic  material,  which  in  the  waking  state 
has  been  prevented  from  expression  and  cut  off 
from  internal  perception  by  the'  antagonistic  ad 
justment  of  the  contradictions,  finds  ways  and 
means  of  obtruding  itself  on  consciousness  during 
the  night  under  the  domination  of  the  compromise 
formations. 

"Fleet ere  si  nequeo  super  os9  Acheronta  movebo'* 


THE  PROCESS— REGRESSION     219 

At  any  rate  the  interpretation  of  dreams  is  the 
via  regia  to  a  knowledge  of  the  unconscious  in  the 
psychic  life. 

In  following  the  analysis  of  the  dream  we  have 
made  some  progress  toward  an  understanding  of 
the  composition  of  this  most  marvelous  and  most 
mysterious  of  instruments;  to  he  sure,  we  have  not 
gone  very.far,  but  enough  of  a  beginning  has  been 
made  to  allow  us  to  advance  from  other  so-called 
pathological  formations  further  into  the  analysis 
of  the  unconscious.  Disease — at  least  that  which 
is  justly  termed  functional — is  not  due  to  the  de 
struction  of  this  apparatus,  and  the  establishment 
of  new  splittings  in  its  interior;  it  is  rather  to  be  ex 
plained  dynamically  through  the  strengthening  and 
weakening  of  the  components  in  the  play  of  forces 
by  which  so  many  activities  are  concealed  during 
the  normal  function.  We  have  been  able  to  show 
in  another  place  how  the  composition  of  the  ap 
paratus  from  the  two  systems  permits  a  subtiliza- 
tion  even  of  the  normal  activity  which  would  be  im 
possible  for  a  single  system. 


IX 

THE  UNCONSCIOUS  AND  CONSCIOUSNESS — REALITY 

ON  closer  inspection  we  find  that  it  is  not  the  ex 
istence  of  two  systems  near  the  motor  end  of  the 
apparatus  but  of  two  kinds  of  processes  or  modes 
of  emotional  discharge,  the  assumption  of  which 
was  explained  in  the  psychological  discussions  of 
the  previous  chapter.  This  can  make  no  difference 
for  us,  for  we  must  always  be  ready  to  drop  our 
auxiliary  ideas  whenever  we  deem  ourselves  in  posi 
tion  to  replace  them  by  something  else  approaching 
more  closely  to  the  unknown  reality.  Let  us  now 
try  to  correct  some  views  which  might  be  errone 
ously  formed  as  long  as  we  regarded  the  two  sys 
tems  in  the  crudest  and  most  obvious  sense  as  two 
localities  within  the  psychic  apparatus,  views  which 
have  left  their  traces  in  the  terms  "repression"  and 
"penetration."  Thus,  when  we  say  that  an  uncon 
scious  idea  strives  for  transference  into  the  fore- 
conscious  in  order  later  to  penetrate  consciousness, 
we  do  not  mean  that  a  second  idea  is  to  be  formed 

situated  in  a  new  locality  like  an  interlineation  near 

220 


THE  UNCONSCIOUS— REALITY     221 

which  the  original  continues  to  remain;  also,  when 
we  speak  of  penetration  into  consciousness,  we  wish 
carefully  to  avoid  any  idea  of  change  of  locality. 
When  we  say  that  a  f  oreconscious  idea  is  repressed 
and  subsequently  taken  up  by  the  unconscious,  we 
might  be  tempted  by  these  figures,  borrowed  from 
the  idea  of  a  struggle  over  a  territory,  to  assume 
that  an  arrangement  is  really  broken  up  in  one 
psychic  locality  and  replaced  by  a  new  one  in  the 
other  locality.  For  these  comparisons  we  substi 
tute  what  would  seem  to  correspond  better  with  the 
real  state  of  affairs  by  saying  that  an  energy  occupa 
tion  is  displaced  to  or  withdrawn  from  a  certain 
arrangement  so  that  the  psychic  formation  falls 
under  the  domination  of  a  system  or  is  withdrawn 
from  the  same.  Here  again  we  replace  a  topical 
mode  of  presentation  by  a  dynamic;  it  is  not  the 
psychic  formation  that  appears  to  us  as  the  moving 
factor  but  the  innervation  of  the  same. 

I  deem  it  appropriate  and  justifiable,  however,  to 
apply  ourselves  still  further  to  the  illustrative  con 
ception  of  the  two  systems.  We  shall  avoid  any 
misapplication  of  this  manner  of  representation  if 
we  remember  that  presentations,  thoughts,  and  psy 
chic  formations  should  generally  not  be  localized 
in  the  organic  elements  of  the  nervous  system,  but, 
so  to  speak,  between  them,  where  resistances  and 


222  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

paths  form  the  correlate  corresponding  to  them. 
Everything  that  can  become  an  object  of  our  in 
ternal  perception  is  virtual,  like  the  image  in  the 
telescope  produced  by  the  passage  of  the  rays  of 
light.  But  we  are  justified  in  assuming  the  ex 
istence  of  the  systems,  which  have  nothing  psychic 
in  themselves  and  which  never  become  accessible  to 
our  psychic  perception,  corresponding  to  the  lenses 
of  the  telescope  which  design  the  image.  If  we 
continue  this  comparison,  we  may  say  that  the  cen 
sor  between  two  systems  corresponds  to  the  refrac 
tion  of  rays  during  their  passage  into  a  new  me 
dium. 

Thus  far  we  have  made  psychology  on  our  own 
responsibility;  it  is  now  time  to  examine  the  the 
oretical  opinions  governing  present-day  psychology 
and  to  test  their  relation  to  our  theories.  The  ques 
tion  of  the  unconscious  in  psychology  is,  according 
to  the  authoritative  words  of  Lipps,  less  a  psycho 
logical  question  than  the  question  of  psychology. 
As  long  as  psychology  settled  this  question  with  the 
verbal  explanation  that  the  "psychic"  is  the  "con 
scious"  and  that  "unconscious  psychic  occurrences" 
are  an  obvious  contradiction,  a  psychological  esti 
mate  of  the  observations  gained  by  the  physician 
from  abnormal  mental  states  was  precluded.  The 
physician  and  the  philosopher  agree  only  when  both 


THE  UNCONSCIOUS— REALITY     223 

acknowledge  that  unconscious  psychic  processes  are 
"the  appropriate  and  well- justified  expression  for 
an  established  fact."  The  physician  cannot  but  re 
ject  with  a  shrug  of  his  shoulders  the  assertion  that 
"consciousness  is  the  indispensable  quality  of  the 
psychic";  he  may  assume,  if  his  respect  for  the  ut- 
terings  of  the  philosophers  still  be  strong  enough, 
that  he  and  they  do  not  treat  the  same  subject  and 
do  not  pursue  the  same  science.  For  a  single  intel 
ligent  observation  of  the  psychic  life  of  a  neurotic, 
a  single  analysis  of  a  dream  must  force  upon  him 
the  unalterable  conviction  that  the  most  complicated 
and  correct  mental  operations,  to  which  no  one  will 
refuse  the  name  of  psychic  occurrences,  may  take 
place  without  exciting  the  consciousness  of  the  per 
son.  It  is  true  that  the  physician  does  not  learn  of 
these  unconscious  processes  until  they  have  exerted 
such  an  effect  on  consciousness  as  to  admit  com 
munication  or  observation.  But  this  effect  of  con 
sciousness  may  show  a  psychic  character  widely  dif 
fering  from  the  unconscious  process,  so  that  the 
internal  perception  cannot  possibly  recognize  the 
one  as  a  substitute  for  the  other.  The  physician 
must  reserve  for  himself  the  right  to  penetrate,  by 
a  process  of  deduction,  from  the  effect  on  conscious 
ness  to  the  unconscious  psychic  process;  he  learns 
in  this  way  that  the  effect  on  consciousness  is  only 


224  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

a  remote  psychic  product  of  the  unconscious  process 
and  that  the  latter  has  not  become  conscious  as  such ; 
that  it  has  been  in  existence  and  operative  without 
betraying  itself  in  any  way  to  consciousness. 

A  reaction  from  the  over-estimation  of  the  qual 
ity  of  consciousness  becomes  the  indispensable  pre 
liminary  condition  for  any  correct  insight  into  the 
behavior  of  the  psychic.  In  the  words  of  Lipps, 
the  unconscious  must  be  accepted  as  the  general 
basis  of  the  psychic  life.  The  unconscious  is  the 
larger  circle  which  includes  within  itself  the  smaller 
circle  of  the  conscious;  everything  conscious  has  its 
preliminary  step  in  the  unconscious,  whereas  the 
unconscious  may  stop  with  this  step  and  still  claim 
full  value  as  a  psychic  activity.  Properly  speak 
ing,  the  unconscious  is  the  real  psychic;  its  inner 
nature  is  just  as  unknown  to  us  as  the  reality  of  the 
external  world,  and  it  is  just  as  imperfectly  re 
ported  to  us  through  the  data  of  consciousness  as  is 
the  external  world  through  the  indications  of  our 
sensory  organs. 

A  series  of  dream  problems  which  have  intensely 
occupied  older  authors  will  be  laid  aside  when  the 
old  opposition  between  conscious  life  and  dream  life 
is  abandoned  and  the  unconscious  psychic  assigned 
to  its  proper  place.  Thus  many  of  the  activities 
whose  performances  in  the  dream  have  excited  our 


THE  UNCONSCIOUS— REALITY    225 

admiration  are  now  no  longer  to  be  attributed  to  the 
dream  but  to  unconscious  thinking,  which  is  also 
active  during  the  day.  If,  according  to  Schemer, 
the  dream  seems  to  play  with  a  symboling  represen 
tation  of  the  body,  we  know  that  this  is  the  work  of 
certain  unconscious  phantasies  which  have  probably 
given  in  to  sexual  emotions,  and  that  these  phan 
tasies  come  to  expression  not  only  in  dreams  but 
also  in  hysterical  phobias  and  in  other  symptoms. 
If  the  dream  continues  and  settles  activities  of  the 
day  and  even  brings  to  light  valuable  inspirations, 
we  have  only  to  subtract  from  it  the  dream  disguise 
as  a  feat  of  dream-work  and  a  mark  of  assistance 
from  obscure  forces  in  the  depth  of  the  mind  (cf. 
the  devil  in  Tartini's  sonata  dream).  The  intel 
lectual  task  as  such  must  be  attributed  to  the  same 
psychic  forces  which  perform  all  such  tasks  during 
the  day.  We  are  probably  far  too  much  inclined 
to  over-estimate  the  conscious  character  even  of  in 
tellectual  and  artistic  productions.  From  the  com 
munications  of  some  of  the  most  highly  productive 
persons,  such  as  Goethe  and  Helmholtz,  we  learn, 
indeed,  that  the  most  essential  and  original  parts 
in  their  creations  came  to  them  in  the  form  of  in 
spirations  and  reached  their  perceptions  almost  fin 
ished.  There  is  nothing  strange  about  the  assist 
ance  of  the  conscious  activity  in  other  cases  where 


226  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

there  was  a  concerted  effort  of  all  the  psychic  forces. 
But  it  is  a  much  abused  privilege  of  the  conscious 
activity  that  it  is  allowed  to  hide  from  us  all  other 
activities  wherever  it  participates. 

It  will  hardly  be  worth  while  to  take  up  the  his 
torical  significance  of  dreams  as  a  special  subject. 
Where,  for  instance,  a  chieftain  has  been  urged 
through  a  dream  to  engage  in  a  bold  undertaking 
the  success  of  which  has  had  the  effect  of  changing 
history,  a  new  problem  results  only  so  long  as  the 
dream,  regarded  as  a  strange  power,  is  contrasted 
with  other  more  familiar  psychic  forces;  the  prob 
lem,  however,  disappears  when  we  regard  the  dream 
as  a  form  of  expression  for  feelings  which  are  bur 
dened  with  resistance  during  the  day  and  which  can 
receive  reinforcements  at  night  from  deep  emotional 
sources.  But  the  great  respect  shown  by  the  an 
cients  for  the  dream  is  based  on  a  correct  psycho 
logical  surmise.  It  is  a  homage  paid  to  the  un 
subdued  and  indestructible  in  the  human  mind,  and 
to  the  demoniacal  which  furnishes  the  dream-wish 
and  which  we  find  again  in  our  unconscious. 

Not  inadvisedly  do  I  use  the  expression  "in  our 
unconscious,"  for  what  we  so  designate  does  not 
coincide  with  the  unconscious  of  the  philosophers, 
nor  with  the  unconscious  of  Lipps.  In  the  latter 
uses  it  is  intended  to  designate  only  the  opposite  of 


THE  UNCONSCIOUS— REALITY    227 

conscious.  That  there  are  also  unconscious  psy 
chic  processes  beside  the  conscious  ones  is  the  hotly 
contested  and  energetically  defended  issue.  Lipps 
gives  us  the  more  far-reaching  theory  that  every 
thing  psychic  exists  as  unconscious,  but  that  some 
of  it  may  exist  also  as  conscious.  But  it  was  not 
to  prove  this  theory  that  we  have  adduced  the 
phenomena  of  the  dream  and  of  the  hysterical 
symptom  formation;  the  observation  of  normal  life 
alone  suffices  to  establish  its  correctness  beyond  any 
.doubt.  The  new  fact  that  we  have  learned  from 
the  analysis  of  the  psychopathological  formations, 
and  indeed  from  their  first  member,  viz.  dreams,  is 
that  the  unconscious — hence  the  psychic— occurs  as 
a  function  of  two  separate  systems  and  that  it  oc 
curs  as  such  even  in  normal  psychic  life.  Conse 
quently  there  are  two  kinds  of  unconscious,  which 
we  do  not  as  yet  find  distinguished  by  the  psycho 
logists.  Both  are  unconscious  in  the  psychological 
sense ;  but  iri  our  sense  the  first,  which  we  call  Unc., 
is  likewise  incapable  of  consciousness,  whereas  the 
second  we  term  "Force."  because  its  emotions,  after 
the  observance  of  certain  rules,  can  reach  conscious 
ness,  perhaps  not  before  they  have  again  undergone 
censorship,  but  still  regardless  of  the  Unc.  system. 
The  fact  that  in  order  to  attain  consciousness  the 
emotions  must  traverse  an  unalterable  series  of 


228  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

events  or  succession  of  instances,  as  is  betrayed 
through  their  alteration  by  the  censor,  has  helped 
us  to  draw  a  comparison  from  spatiality.  We  de 
scribed  the  relations  of  the  two  systems  to  each 
other  and  to  consciousness  by  saying  that  the  sys 
tem  Force,  is  like  a  screen  between  the  system  Unc. 
and  consciousness.  The  system  Force,  not  only 
bars  access  to  consciousness,  but  also  controls  the 
entrance  to  voluntary  motility  and  is  capable  of 
sending  out  a  sum  of  mobile  energy,  a  portion  of 
which  is  familiar  to  us  as  attention. 

We  must  also  steer  clear  of  the  distinctions  siiper- 
conscious  and  subconscious  which  have  found  so 
much  favor  in  the  more  recent  literature  on  the 
psychoneuroses,  for  just  such  a  distinction  seems  to 
emphasize  the  equivalence  of  the  psychic  and  the 
conscious. 

What  part  now  remains  in  our  description  of  the 
once  all-powerful  and  all-overshadowing  conscious 
ness  ?  None  other  than  that  of  a  sensory  organ  for 
the  perception  of  psychic  qualities.  According  to 
the  fundamental  idea  of  schematic  undertaking  we 
can  conceive  the  conscious  perception  only  as  the 
particular  activity  of  an  independent  system  for 
which  the  abbreviated  designation  "Cons."  com 
mends  itself.  This  system  we  conceive  to  be  similar 
in  its  mechanical  characteristics  to  the  perception 


THE  UNCONSCIOUS— REALITY    229 

system  P,  hence  excitable  by  qualities  and  incapa 
ble  of  retaining  the  trace  of  changes,  i.e.  it  is  devoid 
of  memory.  The  psychic  apparatus  which,  with 
the  sensory  organs  of  the  P-system,  is  turned  to 
the  outer  world,  is  itself  the  outer  world  for  the 
sensory  organ  of  Cons.;  the  teleological  justifica 
tion  of  which  rests  on  this  relationship.  We  are 
here  once  more  confronted  with  the  principle  of  the 
succession  of  instances  which  seems  to  dominate  the 
structure  of  the  apparatus.  The  material  under 
excitement  flows  to  the  Cons,  sensory  organ  from 
two  sides,  firstly  from  the  P-system  whose  excite 
ment,  qualitatively  determined,  probably  experi 
ences  a  new  elaboration  until  it  comes  to,  conscious 
perception;  and,  secondly,  from  the  interior  of  the 
apparatus  itself,  the  quantitative  processes  of  which 
are  perceived  as  a  qualitative  series  of  pleasure  and 
pain  as  soon  as  they  have  undergone  certain 
changes. 

The  philosophers,  who  have  learned  that  correct 
and  highly  complicated  thought  structures  are  pos 
sible  even  without  the  cooperation  of  consciousness, 
have  found  it  difficult  to  attribute  any  function  to 
consciousness ;  it  has  appeared  to  them  a  superfluous 
mirroring  of  the  perfected  psychic  process.  The 
analogy  of  our  Cons,  system  with  the  systems  of 
perception  relieves  us  of  this  embarrassment.  We 


230  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

see  that  perception  through  our  sensory  organs  re 
sults  in  directing  the  occupation  of  attention  to 
those  paths  on  which  the  incoming  sensory  excite 
ment  is  diffused;  the  qualitative  excitement  of  the 
P-system  serves  the  mobile  quantity  of  the  psychic 
apparatus  as  a  regulator  for  its  discharge.  We 
may  claim  the  same  function  for  the  overlying 
sensory  organ  of  the  Cons,  system.  By  assuming 
new  qualities,  it  furnishes  a  new  contribution  to 
ward  the  guidance  and  suitable  distribution  of  the 
mobile  occupation  quantities.  By  means  of  the 
perceptions  of  pleasure  and  pain,  it  influences  the 
course  of  the  occupations  within  the  psychic  ap 
paratus,  which  normally  operates  unconsciously 
and  through  the  displacement  of  quantities.  It  is 
probable  that  the  principle  of  pain  first  regulates 
the  displacements  of  occupation  automatically,  but 
it  is  quite  possible  that  the  consciousness  of  these 
qualities  adds  a  second  and  more  subtle  regulation 
which  may  even  oppose  the  first  and  perfect  the 
working  capacity  of  the  apparatus  by  placing  it  in 
a  position  contrary  to  its  original  design  for  oc 
cupying  and  developing  even  that  which  is  con 
nected  with  the  liberation  of  pain.  We  learn  from 
neuropsychology  that  an  important  part  in  the 
functional  activity  of  the  apparatus  is  attributed  to 
such  regulations  through  the  qualitative  excitation 


THE  UNCONSCIOUS— REALITY    231 

of  the  sensory  organs.  The  automatic  control  of 
the  primary  principle  of  pain  and  the  restriction  of 
mental  capacity  connected  with  it  are  broken  by  the 
sensible  regulations,  which  in  their  turn  are  again 
automatisms.  We  learn  that  the  repression  which, 
though  originally  expedient,  terminates  neverthe 
less  in  a  harmful  rejection  of  inhibition  and  of  psy 
chic  domination,  is  so  much  more  easily  accom 
plished  with  reminiscences  than  with  perceptions, 
because  in  the  former  there  is  no  increase  in  occupa 
tion  through  the  excitement  of  the  psychic  sensory 
organs.  When  an  idea  to  be  rejected  has  once 
failed  to  become  conscious  because  it  has  succumbed 
to  repression,  it  can  be  repressed  on  other  occasions 
only  because  it  has  been  withdrawn  from  conscious 
perception  on  other  grounds.  These  are  hints  em 
ployed  by  therapy  in  order  to  bring  about  a  retro 
gression  of  accomplished  repressions. 

The  value  of  the  over-occupation  which  is  pro 
duced  by  the  regulating  influence  of  the  Cons,  sen 
sory  organ  on  the  mobile  quantity,  is  demonstrated 
in  the  teleological  connection  by  nothing  more 
clearly  than  by  the  creation  of  a  new  series  of  quali 
ties  and  consequently  a  new  regulation  which  con 
stitutes  the  precedence  of  man  over  the  animals. 
For  the  mental  processes  are  in  themselves  devoid 
of  quality  except  for  the  excitements  of  pleasure 


232  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

and  pain  accompanying  them,  which,  as  we  know, 
are  to  be  held  in  check  as  possible  disturbances  of 
thought.  In  order  to  endow  them  with  a  quality, 
they  are  associated  in  man  with  verbal  memories, 
the  qualitative  remnants  of  which  suffice  to  draw 
upon  them  the  attention  of  consciousness  which  in 
turn  endows  thought  with  a  new  mobile  energy. 

The  manifold  problems  of  consciousness  in  their 
entirety  can  be  examined  only  through  an  analysis 
of  the  hysterical  mental  process.  From  this  an 
alysis  we  receive  the  impression  that  the  transition 
from  the  foreconscious  to  the  occupation  of  con 
sciousness  is  also  connected  with  a  censorship  similar 
to  the  one  between  the  Unc.  and  the  Force.  This 
censorship,  too,  begins  to  act  only  with  the  reaching 
of  a  certain  quantitative  degree,  so  that  few  intense 
thought  formations  escape  it.  Every  possible  case 
of  detention  from  consciousness,  as  well  as  of  pene 
tration  to  consciousness,  under  restriction  is  found 
included  within  the  picture  of  the  psychoneurotic 
phenomena;  every  case  points  to  the  intimate  and 
twofold  connection  between  the  censor  and  con 
sciousness.  I  shall  conclude  these  psychological 
discussions  with  the  report  of  two  such  occurrences. 

On  the  occasion  of  a  consultation  a  few  years  ago 
the  subject  was  an  intelligent  and  innocent-looking 
girl.  Her  attire  was  strange;  whereas  a  woman's 


THE  UNCONSCIOUS— REALITY    233 

garb  is  usually  groomed  to  the  last  fold,  she  had  one 
of  her  stockings  hanging  down  and  two  of  her  waist 
buttons  opened.  She  complained  of  pains  in  one 
of  her  legs,  and  exposed  her  leg  unrequested.  Her 
chief  complaint,  however,  was  in  her  own  words  as 
follows :  She  had  a  feeling  in  her  body  as  if  some 
thing  was  stuck  into  it  which  moved  to  and  fro  and 
made  her  tremble  through  and  through.  This 
sometimes  made  her  whole  body  stiff.  On  hearing 
this,  my  colleague  in  consultation  looked  at  me;  the 
complaint  was  quite  plain  to  him.  To  both  of  us 
it  seemed  peculiar  that  the  patient's  mother  thought 
nothing  of  the  matter;  of  course  she  herself  must 
have  been  repeatedly  in  the  situation  described  by 
her  child.  As  for  the  girl,  she  had  no  idea  of  the 
import  of  her  words  or  she  would  never  have  al 
lowed  them  to  pass  her  lips.  Here  the  censor  had 
been  deceived  so  successfully  that  under  the  mask 
of  an  innocent  complaint  a  phantasy  was  admitted 
to  consciousness  which  otherwise  would  have  re 
mained  in  the  foreconscious. 

Another  example:  I  began  the  psychoanalytic 
treatment  of  a  boy  of  fourteen  years  who  was  suffer 
ing  from  tic  convulsif,  hysterical  vomiting,  head 
ache,  &c.,  by  assuring  him  that,  after  closing  his 
eyes,  he  would  see  pictures  or  have  ideas,  which  I 
requested  him  to  communicate  to  me.  He  an- 


234  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

swered  by  describing  pictures.  The  last  impres 
sion  he  had  received  before  coming  to  me  \*as  visu 
ally  revived  in  his  memory.  He  had  played  a  game 
of  checkers  with  his  uncle,  and  now  saw  the  checker 
board  before  him.  He  commented  on  various  posi 
tions  that  were  favorable  or  unfavorable,  on  moves 
that  were  not  safe  to  make.  He  then  saw  a  dagger 
lying  on  the  checker-board,  an  object  belonging  to 
his  father,  but  transferred  to  the  checker-board  by 
his  phantasy.  Then  a  sickle  was  lying  on  the 
board ;  next  a  scythe  was  added ;  and,  finally,  he  be 
held  the  likeness  of  an  old  peasant  mowing  the 
grass  in  front  of  the  boy's  distant  parental  home. 
A  few  days  later  I  discovered  the  meaning  of  this 
series  of  pictures.  Disagreeable  family  relations 
had  made  the  boy  nervous.  It  was  the  case  of  a 
strict  and  crabbed  father  who  lived  unhappily  with 
his  mother,  and  whose  educational  methods  con 
sisted  in  threats;  of  the  separation  of  his  father 
from  his  tender  and  delicate  mother,  and  the  re 
marrying  of  his  father,  who  one  day  brought  home 
a  young  woman  as  his  new  mamma.  The  illness 
of  the  fourteen-year-old  boy  broke  out  a  few  days 
later.  It  was  the  suppressed  anger  against  his  fa 
ther  that  had  composed  these  pictures  into  intel 
ligible  allusions.  The  material  was  furnished  by  a 
reminiscence  from  mythology.  The  sickle  was  the 


THE  UNCONSCIOUS— REALITY    235 

one  with  which  Zeus  castrated  his  father;  the  scythe 
and  the  likeness  of  the  peasant  represented  Kronos, 
the  violent  old  man  who  eats  his  children  and  upon 
whom  Zeus  wreaks  vengeance  in  so  unfilial  a  man 
ner.  The  marriage  of  the  father  gave  the  boy  an 
opportunity  to  return  the  reproaches  and  threats 
of  his  father —  which  had  previously  been  made  be 
cause  the  child  played  with  his  genitals  (the  checker 
board;  the  prohibitive  moves;  the  dagger  with 
which  a  person  may  be  killed) .  We  have  here  long 
repressed  memories  and  their  unconscious  remnants 
which,  under  the  guise  of  senseless  pictures  have 
slipped  into  consciousness  by  devious  paths  left 
open  to  them. 

I  should  then  expect  to  find  the  theoretical  value 
of  the  study  of  dreams  in  its  contribution  to  psy 
chological  knowledge  and  in  its  preparation  for  an 
understanding  of  neuroses.  Who  can  foresee  the 
importance  of  a  thorough  knowledge  of  the  struc 
ture  and  activities  of  the  psychic  apparatus  when 
even  our  present  state  of  knowledge  produces  a 
happy  therapeutic  influence  in  the  curable  forms  of 
the  psychoneuroses?  What  about  the  practical 
value  of  such  study  some  one  may  ask,  for  psychic 
knowledge  and  for  the  discovering  of  the  secret 
peculiarities  of  individual  character  ?  Have  not  the 
unconscious  feelings  revealed  by  the  dream  the 


236  DREAM  PSYCHOLOGY 

value  of  real  forces  in  the  psychic  life?  Should  we 
take  lightly  the  ethical  significance  of  the  sup 
pressed  wishes  which,  as  they  now  create  dreams, 
may  some  day  create  other  things? 

I  do  not  feel  justified  in  answering  these  ques 
tions.  I  have  not  thought  further  upon  this  side  of 
the  dream  problem.  I  believe,  however,  that  at  all 
events  the  Roman  Emperor  was  in  the  wrong  who 
ordered  one  of  his  subjects  executed  because  the 
latter  dreamt  that  he  had  killed  the  Emperor.  He 
should  first  have  endeavored  to  discover  the  signifi 
cance  of  the  dream ;  most  probably  it  was  not  what 
it  seemed  to  be.  And  even  if  a  dream  of  different 
content  had  the  significance  of  this  offense  against 
majesty,  it  would  still  have  been  in  place  to  remem 
ber  the  words  of  Plato,  that  the  virtuous  man  con 
tents  himself  with  dreaming  that  which  the  wicked 
man  does  in  actual  life.  I  am  therefore  of  the 
opinion  that  it  is  best  to  accord  freedom  to  dreams. 
Whether  any  reality  is  to  be  attributed  to  the  un 
conscious  wishes,  and  in  what  sense,  I  am  not  pre 
pared  to  say  offhand.  Reality  must  naturally  be 
denied  to  all  transition — and  intermediate  thoughts. 
If  we  had  before  us  the  unconscious  wishes,  brought 
to  their  last  and  truest  expression,  we  should  still 
do  well  to  remember  that  more  than  one  single  form 
of  existence  must  be  ascribed  to  the  psychic  reality. 


THE  UNCONSCIOUS— REALITY     237 

Action  and  the  conscious  expression  of  thought 
mostly  suffice  for  the  practical  need  of  judging  a 
man's  character.  Action,  above  all,  merits  to  be 
placed  in  the  first  rank;  for  many  of  the  impulses 
penetrating  consciousness  are  neutralized  by  real 
forces  of  the  psychic  life  before  they  are  converted 
into  action;  indeed,  the  reason  why  they  frequently 
do  not  .encounter  any  psychic  obstacle  on  their  way 
is  because  the  unconscious  is  certain  of  their  meet 
ing  with  resistances  later.  In  any  case  it  is  instruc 
tive  to  become  familiar  with  the  much  raked-up  soil 
from  which  our  virtues  proudly  arise.  For  the 
complication  of  human  character  moving  dynami 
cally  in  all  directions  very  rarely  accommodates 
itself  to  adjustment  through  a  simple  alternative,  as 
our  antiquated  moral  philosophy  would  have  it. 

And  how  about  the  value  of  the  dream  for  a 
knowledge  of  the  future?  That,  of  course,  we  can 
not  consider.  One  feels  inclined  to  substitute: 
"for  a  knowledge  of  the  past."  For  the  dream  or 
iginates  from  the  past  in  every  sense.  To  be  sure 
the  ancient  belief  that  the  dream  reveals  the  future 
is  not  entirely  devoid  of  truth.  By  representing  to 
us  a  wish  as  fulfilled  the  dream  certainly  leads  us 
into  the  future;  but  this  future,  taken  by  the 
dreamer  as  present,  has  been  formed  into  the  like 
ness  of  that  past  by  the  indestructible  wish. 


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